First collaborating in 2004 under the tour name, “An Evening With: Bright Eyes, Jim James and M. Ward” this super-group gained a reputation by indie insiders as the “Monsters Of Folk.” Now, five years later, the foursome is back together, and the name has stuck.
Consisting of My Morning Jacket front man Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, and M. Ward, Monsters Of Folk recently scheduled dates for their long awaited North American/European tour and yet to be title upcoming album, due for release on Sept. 22.
In the years since their first tour, Monsters Of Folk have been hard at work, collectively releasing five album in the past two years, including the 2009 release Oberst’s, Outer South album, and M. Ward’s solo release of Hold Time.
Despite all their individual projects, the boys of Monsters Of Folk stayed humble and found personal time to work together for their first studio album.
As Jim James says, “We didn’t mail demos back and forth or anything like that; we just decided to wing it and play each other songs, talk about them and discuss them.”
And their live show is sure to be a free-flowing, easy-going experience, as all the band members will play each others instruments though out the night, even switching up lead and backup vocals. “We wanted to make it so it was only the four of us playing anything you hear on the record. And it was fun for us to play instruments we normally don’t play.”
With such tight schedules and strong musical influences, it would seem hard to bring together such a great collective mindset. But as James says: “It was just a real ego-less thing, we laugh a lot together; I think that’s the sign of a good project. I feel like that’s how it is in My Morning Jacket and that’s how it’s been in the Monster of Folk.”
Just last week, Monsters Of Folk released their single, “Say Please” to very welcoming reviews; even comparing the single to the likes of late Beatles work. Although we’ll have to wait till the Sept. 22 release to hear the whole album, this latest work sounds very promising and you’ll likely ride out the rest of summer quietly listening to Monster Of Folk from your car stereo.