Album Background Story
‘Crocodile Kisses’, Mone’s debut album, offers listeners an intimate invitation into the diary of an intoxicatingly beautiful relationship. Leaving no dark corners un-traversed, Mone carries us with raw, and terrifying beauty through the ecstasy, to the basements, to the gutter, out to the lake, through the war and the peace, the sweetness and the pain, to finally come home to rest, holding both the beauty, and the terror of love’s ‘Battlecry’.
A “lovechild” of her influences Tom Waits and Fiona Apple, Mone commands herself into authenticity with a strikingly unique voice that plays with sounds and soars through her range with, at times, honey like ease and others, dirty grit. Mone details stories we know well with authentic and estranged motifs and imagery that leave listeners in awe of her lyrical and poetic prowess, gifting them with her deep and visceral understandings.
Met with the perfect team in Cameron James Laing (Universal Studios) and Gidon Carmel, the craftful and impressive production offers Mone’s music, the meat that supports, comforts, subverts and outright battles with the narrator; in the way the subconscious works with and against the conscious.
As though a well oiled machine, the record brings together a band of musicians and producers with eight years of experience playing together, enabling, through knowledge of each others ideas and skills, ‘Crocodile Kisses’ to stretch the limits of the the ‘Dark-folk’ genre, whilst remaining coherent and homogenous.
Drizzled with animal motifs and primal reflection, the title track ‘Crocodile Kisses’ smoothes the album’s opening moments with Mone’s idiosyncratic quiver, waltzing across bittersweet piano and lush instrumentation.
‘Rat’ then busts out the sleaze quotient with drum-fuelled, gutteral urgency: an elegy to Mone’s home city Berlin, punctuated by Omar Rodriguez-esque guitar licks and sax growls.
The album then begins it’s voyage through the treacherous waters of Mone’s relationship, stopping off first in the vulnerable, melancholy of ‘Big Brown Bear’, Mone channelling Nina Simone by way of Antoni, before a heavy landing in ‘Battlecry’, the first really jagged fracture of the love that was painted in ‘Crocodile Kisses’.
A raw and highly personal confession, ‘Battlecry’ catapults the album into a vortex of climactic, droning soundscapes and uncensored story telling, undercut directly after with the Cohen-esque dark folk thrumb of ‘Desire Is Charm’, creating instantly a heart-breaking antithesis between the raw and full expression of ‘Battlecry’ and the haunting numbness of ‘Desire Is A Charm’.
We then head deeper into a more twisted expression of Mone’s internal landscape with what feels like a memory in ‘Family Laughter’, a phone-recording of a German Song, slurringly sung by a drunk aunt. This is followed by a further descent into the disturbing melodies and multi-layered vocals of ‘Child’s Dream’, where as though watching an old silent film, we witness Mone’s innocence begin to really dissolve.
‘Sister Moonlight’ is a vaudevillian, pungent, Tom Waitsian child born out of the ashes of this twisted rebirth, as Mone seduces us into the smokey, 20’s bar of her sensuality, seemingly intoxicating herself with the playful double bass and keys.
As Mone does best, she then drags us out of the bar and onto the street, trading in her sensuality for heart-breaking tenderness in ‘Terrible Broadway Play’ where the tired ache of the artists heart is carried through the haunting melancholy of the seemingly never-ending resonance in the track’s production and string arrangement.
Back in a Cohen-esque landscape, only this time even more raw, Mone then sits open ‘an angel to the devil that awaits’ her, with a primal meditation of darkness in ‘I Was Never There’. A journey of a song that leads both Mone and the listener to the sad but relieving acceptance of ‘Watched A Good Man Go’, where the sparse arrangement is a vulnerable and absolute offering of Mone’s resignation from the journey she’s been on.
Though the album doesn’t end there, as Mone picks us up and leads us back to a place of heart-breaking reflection in bonus track ‘On The Ropes’, with what feels like an uncensored plea with a soul caught in between letting go and holding on.
Crocodile Kisses excavates a vast underground universe, filled with smoke, glitter, cartoon characters, blood, dirt and gentle sweet whispers that seem to move the marrow in one’s bones; a dark-toned kaleidoscope of fragments and lucid impression culminating in a master-ride of depth and rawness. ‘Crocodile Kisses’ is an unapologetic and powerful debut album from a bold, unique and craftful artist.
Short Artist Biography
“The lovechild of Fiona Apple and Tom Waits”
Mone is raw, bold and honest. Her thought-evoking subjects – muses, lost loves, power struggles, morality and sex – convalesce in a deeply primal self-expression. Having built a rare and genuine live following after arriving in Berlin, she swiftly became a part ofThe Famous Gold Watch Records Collective, the hub for Berlin’s underground scene, and has been working on her debut album Crocodile Kisses, set for release in early 2020.
Long artist biography
“The lovechild of Fiona Apple and Tom Waits” - Mogg Blog
Gut-wrenching and mesmerising performances drenched in authenticity. Mone provokes and soothes in the same breath both on stage and on record.
Her thought-evoking subjects – muses, lost loves, power struggles, morality and sex – convalesce in a deeply primal self-expression. Having built a rare and genuine live following after arriving in Berlin, there’s a staggering honesty, range and command in her live performances that induce a spellbound state, locking eyes with her audience and carrying them along in a flare of cutting but darkly tantalising melody.
Throughout her repertoire resides an often damning examination of the self that dances between the sweetness, innocence and the vicious torment of our inner beings; an anthology on love and longing, both at odds and wholly together in the same step - in a dance, and at war.
Mone arrived on the Dark Folk scene in Berlin after completing the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and swiftly became a part of The Famous Gold Watch Records Collective. Mone finished recording her debut album, ‘Crocodile Kisses’ at the label’s studios of the same name - a beautifully 1930s speakeasy/Victorian Britain inspired studio set in the basement of a former Stasi munitions factory that has become the hub for Berlin’s underground scene.