There’s nothing like being fashionably early to a rising artist’s fandom. The thrill of indulging in new music, developing, and sharing your own opinion on said artist without the saturated sound and pressure of public discourse, and embracing a soundtrack that is truly a product of your cultural reality, is unmatched. Every week or so I can count on research, my algorithm or a recommendation to lead me to my next musical fix. And this week, the latter led me to Samuel Petra and his sophomore EP, MONOTONE.
Born in Alicante, Spain, singer-songwriter and producer Samuel Petra has always had a knack for the arts. Like most kids, he was first exposed to visual arts in his childhood, but eventually turned to music production in his teens. With influences ranging far and wide, from Linkin Park and Flume to Daniel Caesar, his taste in production and general musical palette was bound to lead to an eclectic and refreshing sound. True to the ever-growing do-it-yourself spirit found in today’s artistic landscape, his 2021 EP LAVANDA was self-produced and written, along with some visual accompaniments. Soon after, his creativity and hard work were met with positive reactions from fans and media. Now, back with a new and improved version of his sound, he’s shared his second EP MONOTONE.
While the titular track, and intro, by definition, hints at a lack of variation or expression, the project is anything but emotionally or musically monotonous. Speaking of the EP, Samuel states, “MONOTONE is a darker project for me, delivering my feelings of nostalgia and dreaming of a different reality. I’m swinging between love, destruction, and disappointment... while also trying to remain self aware and lift myself up.”
Upon first listen, the range in sound and subject matter speaks for the emotional pendulum Petra is trying to balance. Singles, “Dusty Issues,” “RoseMay” and “Nada Mas” foreshadowed a certain level of emotional duress and confusion laced within alt-pop jams. However, the finished product brought to life one of my favorite tracks of his, “Can’t You See.” Hazy and light, with guitars that paint the perfect image of sunset and impeccably clean percussion, “Can’t You See” sounds like the forgotten deep-cut from The Internets Hive Mind you never knew you wanted, until now.
Sonically diverse and emotionally attuned, with a pinch of nostalgia, MONOTONE is a great EP to consider as you come down from your summer highs and attempt to recalibrate your life.