When it comes to putting one foot in front of the other, it always helps to have a nice rhythm to your steps, a melody to pace yourself to. With the right song, you may notice yourself moving along in courage rather than dragging your feet. The lyrics of “Tears,” the newest single from LA-multihyphenate Little Monarch (Casey Kalmenson), serve as the perfect pick-me-up when in need: “New day, little rebirth / Not stuck in a reverse waiting for change,” she muses, uncompromising to the stresses hoping to peril her. Her voice is steady and assured; one can easily imagine Little Monarch practicing the verses of “Tears” in the mirror as self-affirmations. She doesn’t erupt as much as she quakes when she reaches the song’s bridge, a brazen change of pace that reinvigorates the track. As she is wont to do, Little Monarch effortlessly and elegantly fuses genres to create the dimensions of “Tears,” with soul, jazz, and indie-pop most prominently coexisting.
In a press release accompanying the song, Little Monarch describes the reborn nature of the track as “like an old car starting up and then eventually coasting at 70.” This comparison is not wasted on Adam Brown, director of the music video for “Tears”: in the video, Kalmenson cruises the streets of LA in a vintage-looking vehicle, exhibiting all it means to be free. Of the song, she continues: “Sunshine coming and soaking up all your tears. More of a mantra and meditation on days spent in Los Angeles dreaming, losing, spilling all kinds of tears then surrendering and letting it all be absorbed by another sunbent day." All aspects of “Tears” give way to this surrendering, not in forfeit but rather in acceptance.
While Kalmenson’s new music is meant to build on the potential of Little Monarch, this is not to say that she is sitting idle in preparation. Kalmenson is currently supporting Gracie Abrams as a member of her band, assisting Abrams in both headlining dates and in her opening set for Taylor Swift on The Eras Tour. Aside from her own project as Little Monarch, Kalmenson has collaborated with Jessie Ware, Daisy The Great, Far East Movement, and more as a songwriter, producer, and vocalist. Her bounds continue to expand with every release, and “Tears” is another joyful, sunny example of how much more there is to hear from Little Monarch.