Midnight to Monaco
Rex Club. Paris. The late 1990s.
A kid sneaks into a Respect is Burning party. Inside he experiences a sound unlike anything he's ever heard. And it sticks with him forever.
The kid was Donnie Sloan. The sound was the French Touch.
Cut to many years later. Mr. Sloan, now grown. A multiplatinum songwriter and producer. He had everything he needed. Except the voice for his upcoming project.
At the time it must have seemed like just another jam session. Another late one in the hills. But the singer he heard that night was unforgettable.
And Donnie knew instantly.
That was the voice to take 50's doo wop harmony into the future.
Ricky Ducati got to LA with fifty bucks, his leather jacket and a pack of reds. But when you sing like Ricky, nothing else is required.
It was over the next months that they cut the record on the same vintage Neve console as The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas and countless legends before them.
Ducati on vocals.
Sloan at the controls.
Their sound is a lifetime of influence.
Their name is Midnight to Monaco.
SPELES, the moniker of Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Kathryn Baar, is preparing
to release her second EP titled Skeleton Coast I. The name, which was inspired by the
desolate stretch of animal bones and shipwrecks along the coast of Namibia, actually
refers to her life in LA. “I developed a lot of anxiety, depression, and health issues when I
moved to the west coast after college and it felt like the perfect title to represent those
experiences. There’s also something really spooky and primal about the sound of it,
which are elements I like to play with in my music.”
Recorded in 10 days with the majority of help from producer Sonny DiPerri (Animal
Collective, Emma Ruth Rundle) and collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Luc Laurent,
the EP sonically ranges from stomp-y and tribal driven songs like “Teach Me How to
Pray” and “Dead in the Water” to the delicate and haunting apocalyptic-esque guitar
vocal track “Wildfire.” “ I grew a lot in the making of this EP. I felt like I had dialed in
the sound I was trying to create as an artist and also, for the first time, I did a ton of preproduction
with Luc before recording in the studio. I’ve become a much stronger and
more efficient producer and arranger because of it.”
Thematically the EP touches on topics of perseverance, introspection, and hard truths.
“Dead in the Water” is reminiscent of the Marcus Aurelius quote, “The impediment to
action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” “A lot of times people
may think that they’re not in control of their own lives, or they feel easily defeated when
faced with obstacles. But every one of us has the power and capability to overcome
whatever stands in our way if we recognize that and learn to become resourceful. “Light
Me on Fire” is a bluesy surf-rock style song about supporting someone you care about
even if it wears on you, with a wailing choir chorus that sings “...even when it hurts, light
me on fire and let me burn.”
SPELLES first gained attention in 2014 when her - at the time unreleased- single “Bird in
a Cage” was synced on the show Pretty Little Liars. This powerful gang vocal and
percussion style beast of a song caused Baar to receive a flood of emails from fans of the
show saying they loved the song and wanted to know where they could buy it. "It was my
first experience with exposure on such a large scale and I was deeply grateful for the
overwhelmingly positive response.” Her self-titled debut followed in 2015 with the eerie
orchestral ballad "Wild Heart” and the bluesy Rib Cage - which Consequence of Sound
stated, “If this is what Baar sounds like when she feels she’s not “good enough,” she must
leave a wake of wreckage when she gets a confidence boost.” Following the release she
did a college radio campaign, became part of the Feed the Beat team, got more syncs, and
played shows in the LA area, opening for acts such as LP and most recently Skott.