Illustrative of their uncanny ability to seamlessly combine diverse genres of music, The Monarch Hotel has released their latest single, “London.” The first in a string of tracks that they plan to release over the next few months, the song brings together the worlds of psychedelic indie pop, hip-hop, and lo-fi production all into one.

Composed of longtime friends Isaac Brickner and Stephen Metsig, “London” is the culmination of the artists’ partnership thus far. A song about transformation and self-renewal, the duo urges you to take a look into the dark places in your life that you like to avoid, with the intention of finding the light within. Brickner and Metsig are at that place in life where, as young adults, they are trying to process the challenging, complex personal experiences that they are both faced with at this stage of life. “London” is an exploration of all of this.

With some words on the song and its context, Brickner said, “‘London’ was written between both of our homes, in my basement and in Stephen’s bedroom. The initial demo took us to a dreary, weathered place; Specifically, a city that contrasts techno-futuristic elements with dilapidated, early 20th-century infrastructure. The song is a love story, though an unsure one. The tension between loving oneself and a significant other is a tightrope we all attempt to balance.”

Metsig added, “The song describes the challenge of embracing that which we avoid. ‘London’ is the ideal that we hold on to, such as love for someone, even when we aren’t ready to risk the vulnerability that accompanies its expression. The song advises a loosening of one’s grip and invites the release of one’s fears.”

As collaborators, Brickner and Metsig go way back, but they go even further back as friends. Growing up in the small town of Roseburg, Oregon, the two met as children and attended the same high school, playing in the band Hemlock Lane, a very popular local group. Excited to begin defining themselves as individuals, they began attending Umpqua Community College where everything was proceeding smoothly until a mass shooting took place on the college campus in October 2015. Although they were not directly involved in the incident, the shooting hit both Metsig and Brickner extremely hard and subsequently dealt with depression and substance abuse problems which took them away from music for some time.

By 2017, and after a move to Portland, the two began to feel reenergized and they resumed their musical pursuits. Their talents and abilities have been growing steadily ever since and now they have their debut album in the works. With dedication and perseverance, The Monarch Hotel is ready to emerge and show you what they’re made of.

Artwork for “London” by The Monarch Hotel