Thursday, January 20th, 2022
Premiere: Monograms Share New Video for “American Dreamz”
New Live-to-Vinyl Single Out Now
Jan 20, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Kevin Condon
Brooklyn artist Ian Jacobs has been making music under the Monograms moniker since 2017. In that time the project has ascended from bedroom-recording beginnings to fractured studio creations, with Jacobs crafting a dark and distorted reinvention of synthwave and post punk he has coined “nuke wave.” Fans heard from Jacobs last year with his EP, Floors and Ceilings, and this year he has returned with a new live in-studio session recording of “American Dreamz.” Accompanying the release, Jacobs has also shared a new video for the single, premiering with Under the Radar.
That nuke wave moniker fits perfectly with the mesmerizing corroded aesthetics of “American Dreamz.” The pulsating bassline and driving beats fit effortlessly into the world of post punk, but the fractured and fried electronics launch the track into a surreal soundscape of Jacobs’ own making. Meanwhile, Jacobs gives this soundscape visual life with the accompanying video, capturing the core of his “nuke wave” aesthetic with a combination of animations, hand-drawn dystopian paintings, photo cutouts, and a live-action cameo from Jacobs himself to cap it all off.
Jacob says of the song’s origins and the accompanying video: “The thread of this song isn’t meant to be political, negative, or made for zealots. It’s really just a few things that had been running through my head, even before some of the more recent reckoning that was pretty necessary in my opinion. There’s a James Baldwin speech from the 60’s about American dreams and it’s something that’s always stuck with me, about where we’re at in this new world experiment. Unfortunately, social injustice is part of our past and our present, but our history and beliefs are often bent, building some untruths that provide much kinder ideals. I’m extremely grateful to be part of the experiment but it’s difficult to know where you are in a system like that, so the song is really just a mirror. I dunno if my voice really makes a dent in any of that stuff, but it’s something that should be in the light and not in the dark,… In short, after a bit of time and research, it turns out Christopher Columbus was not such a good person after all, and we might wanna think on that for just a minute.”
Check out the accompanying video below. You can also get tickets here to the band’s upcoming show at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right on February 8th.