Sexy, stylish, and, well, a bit spine-tingling are descriptions that aren’t usually applied to classic country music, until now as Canadian country rock quintet Hot Mondy unleashes a toe-tapping, hair-raising new single and video in “Vampire” — check it out on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/mRGlM5sjHcA
Three singles and videos into the reveal of their debut EP Pale Embers, we’ve come to not only expect the unexpected, but be delighted by it from this Halifax-based band of five outlaw country-loving musicians and friends. And as a tempting slice of country-noir, “Vampire” continues Hot Mondy’s newly minted tradition of creating music that is both respectfully nostalgic and unapologetically modern.
Following up “Pale Ember”, the band’s dramatic, epic debut single lamenting a burned-out romance, and their second release, “Desert Moonlight”, a roadhouse rockin’ tale of an all-night bagman, Hot Mondy has placed their collective finger directly on the pulse of pure country with “Vampire.” Like “Happy Trails” leading you through a haunted forest, the lyrics and video for “Vampire” take a darker turn than the music might have you expect.
Blind to some folks
Casting no shadow
Feeding on my empathy for all of your sorrows
A captivating, cautionary tale of innocence falling prey to dark desires, Hot Mondy’s video for “Vampire” was directed by notable filmmaker Brad Tobler of Imagine That Films (Stranger Things). The band has partnered up with Tobler to create videos for every song on their 6-song EP, aiming for a full visual album to complement their debut. In the clip, Marnee McLellan shines in her eat-your-heart-out lead role as a glamorous, blood sucking babe who lures an unsuspecting gentleman caller (Tyler Phillips) to her living — or rather, dying — room before she feasts on his misfortune. Then, she retires to her coffin to sleep it off from dawn to dusk.
With great music and intriguing visuals building the band’s story and notoriety single by single, Hot Mondy’s first two videos have amassed over 350,000 views on YouTube in less than three months; pretty great for a band that only came together in 2019 just prior to the pandemic. The group is still set to unveil three more singles and videos approximately every four to six weeks until their full EP is released.
Helping to craft Hot Mondy’s soundscape for their Pale Embers EP was multi-JUNO winning producer Michael Philip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics, Great Big Sea, The Jerry Cans); the band and Wojewoda came together at Toronto’s Revolution Recording in early 2020 to track songs, but that was all they could get done for a while.
The band had just returned to Halifax after initial tracking when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the whole country down for well over a year. “It was both fun and challenging figuring out how to finish the EP during Covid,” the band recalls, “but it informed many of our choices in a really interesting way.”
The band also called on a variety of top talent to complete the album; in addition to friend and collaborator Loel Campbell of Wintersleep on drums, lap steel player Christine Bougie (Bahamas), singer/songwriter Claire Coupland (vocals), fiddler Kendel Carson (Matt Mays, Alan Doyle), pianist Rob Preuss (Spoons, Honeymoon Suite), and GRAMMY/JUNO Award-nodded violinist/arranger Drew Jurecka (Jeff Healey, Dua Lipa) all added their talents as well.
Living under pandemic restrictions like the rest of Canada over the past year and a half didn’t slow down Hot Mondy’s creative output one bit, as they have continued working on more than ten songs set to debut in a follow-up album in 2022.
A heady and intoxicating blend of country, roots and rock, “Hot Mondy’s music is familiar yet original, satisfying but unpredictable. With a love of writing, groove, production and storytelling, the music will take you on a journey that you’ll want to return to again and again.”
With three visual singles now out in the world and three more to release by early 2022 to complete their debut EP, Hot Mondy will stay in our ears and on our minds for a long time to come.
For more on Hot Mondy check them out here: