That Brunette (aka Madeline Mondrala) announces her upcoming EP, Millennium Fig, with the release of the single “Coolest Girl.” Written as a love letter to a decade-long female friendship, “Coolest Girl” is an ode to a friend of Mondrala (That Brunette) who recently moved out of NYC. “She taught me how to be cool without even trying, and while she’s starting over, I’m pushing ahead, hustling, and missing her with a smile on my face. It’s a song about feeling lucky to have had that time together growing up and becoming ourselves,” says Mondrala (That Brunette). “ I’m better for it, smarter for it, cooler for it, but not quite as cool as her.”
That Brunette’s airy, ethereal pop sound shines through the danceable production of the track with her bright vocals emerging as the leading element. Her lyrics are infused with her signature wittiness, while still being emotional and honest. That wit presents itself from the very first line, “You’re the coolest girl in the entire world but your smoking habit makes me kinda nervous” and continues with lyrics like “How many bottles of wine have we had between us? I’m pretty sure God lost count last New Year’s Eve.”
“If I could line up every bottle of wine we laughed over, talked over, danced over, they would probably span the distance between us,” says Mondrala of that particular anecdotal line. “Coolest Girl” presents itself as a tantalizing tease to the electro-pop magic that is to come with her new EP – Millennium Fig – releasing in August. “Brooklyn’s queer pop goddess” (Audiofemme) is completely unwilling to be anything other than herself. Her unapologetic authenticity makes for compelling music brimming with vulnerability and valor.
That Brunette is a Brooklyn-based Experimental Pop songwriter and performer. Having written her first song at age eight, she promptly began performing her creations for her classmates on the schoolyard at recess. Originally from Los Angeles, Mondrala attended the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in New York, alongside artists like Mitski, Verité, and Sean McVerry. Her first EP Cloud (2013) was acclaimed by top-tier taste-making blogs such as The Line of Best Fit for “blending classically nuanced pop styles to hypnotic perfection.” In 2014 she was awarded the Thayer Fellowship grant for demonstrating “outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts.” Soon after, Madeline was sought out by BMG Publishing and signed as a writer/artist. During this time, she worked with producers such as Dem Jointz (Brandy, Rihanna), Larzz Principato (Dua Lipa, Halsey) and Ryan Marrone (Nicki Minaj) to name a few.
Her sophomore EP Madelin (2017) garnered attention for its feminist anthem “Good List,” appearing in a myriad of music publications including Ladygunn and Popdust. Soon after, Madeline set off to pursue her music independently. Her subsequent music video for her single “High School Boys” premiered in Billboard and was embraced by the queer/drag artist community in Brooklyn. Madeline’s 7-track album Then Her Head Fell Off was released in 2019 completely independently. Despite discouragement towards this set of songs from her former management, it was met with praise in the indie scene. Gabriel Akins of Substream Magazine aptly wrote “Madeline does whatever she wants to and nails all of it.” Having spent the last two years writing and recording new music, Madeline is ready to take full ownership of her artistry and embark on a path of deliberate authenticity under her new moniker “That Brunette.”