Material: Little Monarch's sound is somewhere between modern soul and upbeat indie rock. An interplay between smooth jams and powerful choruses kept audiences grooving and the energy high. Featuring keyboard and synths on top of the standard guitar, bass and drums added a sparkly, tropical element to their sleek songs. Little flourishes like a country-ish riff at the start of their third song, “Forever,” and a mid-set reggae song, which lead vocalist Casey Kalmenson explained was being performed for the first time, engaged audiences throughout and showcased the band’s dynamic range.
Musicianship: Though Little Monarch has only been performing live for a few months, they carried themselves with the confidence of a band that’s been performing together for years. The airtight musicianship they consistently displayed was brought to a culminating point in an impeccable four-part vocal harmony between Kalmenson, keyboardist Smith, guitarist Setter and bassist Andres in their fifth song titled “No Matter What.” Kalmenson and Smith harmonized throughout, and even traded off overlapping vocal lines in “Change,” their second song of the night. Each element meshed together seamlessly, with their masterful vocals at the forefront of it all.
Performance: Stage banter was kept to a bare minimum, showcasing the songs themselves as much as possible. Kalmenson is a natural frontwoman, carrying herself with a calm and collected rock & roll energy. She switched between playing synths, guitar and performing solely vocals, and appeared completely comfortable in all three roles.
The rest of the band was fully engaged, and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves.
Summary: Little Monarch is a new band well worth watching. As the band reached the end of their set, the audience immediately broke into a chant of “One more song!” Though another band was scheduled to perform afterward, making an encore unlikely, it felt very possible that they might return to the stage based alone on the enthusiasm of the packed floor.
The Players: Casey Kalmenson, vocals, synth; Nick Setter, vocals, guitar; Lanita Smith, vocals, keys; Justin Andres, vocals, bass; Read Pryor, drums.
Venue: The Hotel Cafe
City: Hollywood, CA
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