Bunny Monroe and Theo Malkin are the brains behind Monroe Moon, a dreamy indie-pop act from Michigan that we at Indie Top 39 have come to know and love. About two months ago, they released ‘New Utopia’, an ethereal tune that has lived with us ever since. They recently returned with another stunning track called ‘Glad To Exist’, and we were desperate to find out more about them! Fortunately, they agreed to be interviewed by us! So, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Bunny and Theo of Monroe Moon.
Hey Bunny and Theo! It’s so great to be able to re-introduce you to our audience today! It feels like I’ve been speaking to more and more acts who are in romantic relationships as well. We’re always intrigued about how that dynamic shapes the music that you write and create.
It has certainly grown us as individuals and as a couple. Making art together can be very difficult and scary. Making art is often raw honesty and sometimes very self-indulgent. We are forced to have conversations and confrontations. But of course, working through that gets you the reward of acceptance and understanding from yourself and your partner. So it’s worth the pain.
‘New Utopia’ was the first single I heard from you – and I was instantly sucked into your sound. I remember labelling it “one of the most enticing, laidback, and dreamy tunes” that I’d heard this year! Did it feel like a winner straight away to you too?
Thank you very much! We love that song. It was one of those projects that come together so effortlessly and feels so good when they are completed. It is its own reward, that’s the point of what we are doing. To have fun and enjoy the process of give-and-take with others.
Your brand new single ‘Glad To Exist’ was released just a few weeks ago, and it’s been on my main playlist ever since! I absolutely love it! How proud are you of the tune and what does it mean to you?
Wow, thank you! We are very proud! We love to collaborate with others and we love to lean into the flow and direction or path each project reveals for us. This was one of three songs we recorded with Alexander Almgren of Freshly Baked Studios at the Virtue & Vice Studios in Brooklyn, NY. It was a project that introduced us to Alex, took us to New York, and moved us forward as artists.
To have a song come out of a dream and to deliver it to the world is a stratification of that inception, another layer of that very dream. It is a very satisfying release.monroe moon
Now, if we’re talking purely in numbers, your track ‘WAR’ has over 20,000 plays already on Spotify! How does it make you feel to know that so many people have been listening to and appreciating your music?
It’s lovely! It feels good. It can be hard to get attention. So hard, that having an audience as a motivating factor is not something I allow myself. But it does feel good. And we are very proud.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Who did you both grow up listening to? And would you say that your tastes have changed over the years?
Bunny: Theo is a 90’s Manchester kid at heart. The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Oasis, Pulp, and The Verve have consistently been on rotation at our house since we met. I think those bands obviously inform his guitar playing. As a 90s kid as well, I was really into Portishead, Bjork, and The Sneaker Pimps. As an adult, my main inspiration comes from classical, jazz, blues, opera, and flamenco music. Go figure.
Your home state, Michigan, has produced some of the greatest names in musical history. Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Madonna, Anthony Kiedis, Diana Ross. The list is truly endless. Do you find inspiration in your surroundings?
Absolutely. Michigan is beautiful and inspirational! And there is no shortage, as you point out, of great music that has come from here.
The best Gibson guitars were made in Kalamazoo!
We are proud to be from Michigan.
When you’re not creating music, what fills your days and keeps you happy? What do you both enjoy doing?
Bunny: We have five children in total. We are busy, family-orientated people. That said, Theo and I enjoy our time together, shooting pool, working in our home music studio, and travelling when we can. We know how to have fun as a couple still.
What are your thoughts on the music industry as a whole? What changes would you make? And what would success in the industry look like for Monroe Moon?
Bunny: I try not to think too hard about the dysfunction I see, just as much because I can’t say I know anything or have any answers, and because I don’t want to demoralize myself. I do wish artists received higher percentages for their streams. Conversely, I appreciate so much that the internet has opened the industry up to the point that I can make music in my basement and set it free into the wild so easily and with a little reception sometimes. I suffer from terrible stage fright, and so I am grateful that I can create and find an audience for my music without having to perform it often. Of course, I think the ideal would be to be able to create music that sustains us financially but I don’t want to put a box around anything.
I just want to go with the flow, enjoy the process, and feel good about myself.bunny monroe
What, to you, is music’s role in society?
Bunny: Music and art have many roles. One of them is to share experiences and understandings and thus help unify the human experience. That’s the role I feel I’m playing. It helps me not to worry too much about where my lyrics came from. Sometimes I know it’s a direct experience and sometimes I feel like I channelled something new.
I like a quote from Doctor Ross, “Blues is the truth. If it didn’t happen to you, it happened to someone else.” That is my leading sentiment.bunny monroe
Which series or movie could you imagine your music perfectly fitting into?
We don’t watch television often. We really don’t know what programs are out there. But a sync deal is something we hope for. Probably something a little dark and mysterious or uplifting and inspiring?
If you were allowed to collaborate with one musician or band, who would you choose?
Little Dragon. Please and thank you!
Thank you so much for chatting with us Bunny and Theo, it’s been a real pleasure! I know that you’re planning on releasing a new single every month for the next 6 months, which is a very exciting prospect, but I guess in a broader sense, what do you hope for in your musical future?
We just never want to stop making music and exploring ourselves, with each other.
Thank you, it was a real pleasure x
We added Monroe Moon’s single ‘Glad To Exist’ to the playlist of all the artists we interviewed so far.
Don’t be shy to give it a listen!