US Singer-Songwriter Monica Aben Looks Back On Postcards EP
Amidst the ocean of ever differentiating genres these days, sometimes it’s refreshing to stumble on a release that’s simply pop with a capital P. I’ve been sent various tracks by Monica Aben throughout the year and with each delivery I’ve slowly succumbed to her seductively smooth sound. A well produced body of work that touches on the everyday thoughts of many a twenty-year old trying to piece together why life’s not so easy as it initially seemed (or that’s how it looks to me!).
Opening number on this 5 track EP Postcards is CPH - standing for Copenhagen, its mid-tempo groove sets a mood that could comfortably sit amongst an Olivia Rodrigo release while also paying homage to Taylor Swift on the vocal melody and lyrical sentiment. The track grows throughout with pizzicato strings and tasteful piano creating a dramatic landscape for Aben to express her vulnerability over.
2nd track That’s Alright is a simpler affair but very much from the viewpoint of someone who’s grown up in the City of Angels… and whilst we’re on that subject, the next song ‘Kids In LA’ takes a walk down memory lane recalling seminal moments in her life while growing up in the charmed district of Venice Beach. With a dramatic chorus, again seemingly influenced by Swift, this tune can’t help but make me think of events in my own teenage years.
The video for current single Reasons to Reminisce sees Aben playing someone settled yet thinking back on what could have been. As with the production throughout the EP, Reasons is packed with subtle ear-candy that can creep up and hook you in by the time you get to the end.
Closing track Last Local In Venice sees Aben reflecting on the changes within her home town - something we can all relate to. A choice piano arrangement again roots the arrangement and sets the tone well for a strident chorus that cries out for the world to slow down - best of luck with that one!
Overall, Postcards is a charmed release expressing a vulnerability in the subject matter that’s highly relatable. With a tinge of retro in its feel and highly reflective in it’s mood, it would be great to see future releases from Aben expand on the subject matter while developing, but not losing, the atmospheric arrangements within.