Internet Folk Songs by Monkey And The Permavirgins
18 Feb 2022
Now just hold on to your preconceptions a minute there will you! Sure, Monkey And The Permavirgins might sound like a high school talent show project performing covers of Blink 182 songs in their underwear with the sole purpose of angering their teachers, but this is something completely different. Monkey And The Permavirgins are less a band in the traditional sense and more a collective of musicians located around the world who share their love of music and their ideas over Discord. And why the hell not! It's 2022!
Internet Folk Songs is the second full length release from MAPV but the first of completely original music. Although it is made up of 14 tracks, most fall well under the 2 minute mark resulting in a total running time of only 22 minutes. Since it takes no time at all to find yourself halfway down the track listing an observation can be made pretty quickly of the consistency of style that flows through the record. A wholly organic soup of adventurous instrumentation, ambient vocals and sweet folky melodies. The lo-fi recordings are of a quality that is to be expected when knowing the background of the record and the production is minimalist but effective. The overall clarity of the tracks is at a level that would normally irritate me but in the case of Internet Folk Songs it adds not only a certain amount of charm and endearment but also credibility to their artistic ethos.
The record opens with a short, gentle piano statement that disappears in to the fade in of How To Forget Yourself, an airy folk song that works itself up in to a climax of shoegaze inspired distortion and depth. This ethereal, effects laden guitar sound is further explored in Where The Sky Meets The Sea and to a more sparing extent in Song About A Racoon. These denser tunes are split up by more delicate, modest numbers that vary from a simple solo guitar composition such as Uncertainty to the ghostly love letter to Zane the Sleepyhead.
Some of the intentions are unclear and unfortunately the occasional compositional eccentricities leave me on the wrong side of indifferent by the second or third listen. Monkey Kids Theme, for example, ends with almost twenty seconds of train station sounds that breaks up what is otherwise a very smooth transitioning record and the end of Stardust feels like the outro of three different songs pushed together. These criticisms though are minor and it's important to keep a record in context. Sure, it fails at being a modern day Sgt Peppers but it succeeds in creating an interesting and enticing dreamscape of indie folk to soundtrack your next acid trip.
Monkey And The Permavirgins, whoever they are in this particular iteration, have put together here a beautiful record. The quality of recording and production choices are not going to be for everyone but for those that scoure the fringes of independent music for hidden gems are going to find a sweet reward with Internet Folk Songs. I recommend a listen and please, as always, let me know what you think.