Denver’s femme trio, mon cher, explore synth-driven dream pop in their new EP tell me baby. It’s meditative and vibey, reminiscent of synth-pop groups like Washed Out (the group that wrote the “Portlandia” theme) and the Minecraft’s ethereal composer, C418.
The album opens up with a bright synth arpeggio in “tell me baby,” which might remind listeners of the Stranger Things main theme without all the spooky and dark distorted sub basses. It’s dreamy, with frontwoman, founder and producer Meghan Holton’s vocals acting more as an additional effect or synth patch, rather than a spotlighted storyteller. Similarly, the track “better days” applies the same general vocal role, but with a faint acoustic piano. It’s much like the band’s choice to title themselves and their music without capital letters: they are minimalistic and understated. Coupled with the chill wave beats the C418 influences are so enveloping, it’s hard not to imagine the calm of a fun building project or exploring a virtual forest.
Holston’s voice is more forward in “all star,” which can be seen as the antithesis of the popular Smash Mouth hit from back in the day. Continuing with mon cher’s dreamy vibe, the song feels floaty, with cranked reverbs and faint vocal echoes throughout. The higher pitched synth leads and strings call to mind the cosmos, fitting the lyrical references to outer space. The lyrics however discuss themes of staying out of the spotlight – never achieving fame, but in a way that is more grounding than remorseful.
Tell me baby is perfect vibey music for listeners to chill out in the comfort of their oversized bean bag, or to listen to while playing their favorite cozy game (with or without zombies and creepers). It’s beautifully made and deserving of several spins.