The Test Drive: Moniker - MONiKER LPMoniker formed when Jordan Scott, the band’s multi-instrumentalist songwriter and vocalist moved to New York City at the beginning of 2015 and reconnected with an old friend TD Crowley through their work at WCWM college radio. Jordan invited TD to form a band, quickly recruiting a high school friend Jeremy Burke on bass along with Matt Shuham, a classically trained percussionist, on drums.

Although the album’s songs sit apart as individual pieces, they were written to form a cohesive piece of work. This is the sound of a band trying on different personas; an uptempo disco-rock song, a more experimental electronic song, a slow southern rock-style song. Lyrically each song deals with a different aspect of music but each foray into diversity is underpinned by the band’s own identifiable sound and style.

The album was recorded in Brooklyn’s Rift Studios in a live room where all the songs were tracked with the same setup. This approach gives the album a cohesive feel, which plays against the songs’ eclecticism.

Moniker’s influences range from Bowie and Beach Boys to Kate Bush and Orange Juice. The basic, drums-bass-two guitars setup throughout most of the record echoes that of Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend, the band’s hope was to create an album in that tradition.

Some songs are direct references to other groups: LA references Laurie Anderson and uses artificial vocals in homage to her music; Bayreuth is the name of Wagner’s opera house, with the song is made to feel like a Beirut song put through heavy distortion, playing with ideas of ‘world’ and classical music.

For Jeremy, the album sounds like a combination of Orange Juice, ‘Orange Julius’, Julius Caesar, Julian Casablancas, and Gregorian Chants.

The Band:
Jordan Scott
TD Crowley
Jeremy Burke
Matt Shuham