Perth based producer and songwriter Nic Rollo has today announced his driving, eerie new single Monster, about identifying and quelling the monster within us all, set for release on February 5. Accompanying the track is a dark, revolving film clip, directed by Alex Montanari (Cub Sport, What So Not, Khalid) and Matthew James. Monster follows the 2019 release of Nic’s brilliant, iridescent EP What Happened to the Kid.
Nic tells Jen his 5 top artists to watch from WA.
I feel like I have to open this list with a band that I’m very closely involved with, which is Cloning. I play bass in this band, I’m best mates with everyone in it, the music is very cool. Think of experimental music from the likes of Radiohead, King Giz, Portishead, and mix it with modern pop rock. Damn son that’s nice.
Second we’ve got Tobias, Perth’s rapper extraordinaire. This dude can rap, like really rap. He’s also a lovely human. One thing that I’ve found super impressive about Tobias (beyond the music) is his branding – His photos and social media game are on point.
Another act deep within the hip hop scene of Perth that I’ve had the privilege of being friends with is Otiuh. These guys are sick, some of their songs give me serious GoldLink vibes in the best possible way. If you want to be cultured listen to them.
JAMIE BVLLET & YVNGDA are working very closely together, so I figure I can bundle them into this point. Cutting edge pop sounds are coming from the two of them, and I’m loving it. Want to say “hey I listen to cool cutting edge pop”? You know what to do.
Last, but definitely not least, is my dear friend Shy-Fi. He produces very sick beats and DJ’s around the place, he might also be the tightest drummer I’ve met. He’s cool, if you’re cool you should check him out.
Monster will feel familiar to anyone who has said something in frustration or anger that they regret after the fact – the track is an introspective interrogation of that remorse, and what it’ll take to tame the inner monster who is responsible for those biting remarks. Reminiscent of synth-pop auteurs M83 and indie rockers The Wombats, and mastered by pop royalty Chris Gehringer (Harry Styles, Rihanna, Halsey), the track is buoyed by glistening synths, hooky guitar and driving percussion – while Nic’s gentle vocals and arresting lyrics take centre stage. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Nic explains, “Monster was written during a previous relationship of mine when things were a bit shaky. There were a few times that I’d said something to my ex that had started to cause fractures in the relationship and unnecessary conflict. Monster is about that side of myself that I don’t always like – the part that is impulsive and lashes out when I should just hold my tongue instead.”
The video for Monster feels like the beginning of a horror film – there’s a sense of suspense, as though the calm atmosphere of the night-driving scenes will not last for much longer. It’s a beautiful watch, too – the lights passing in the night as the song plays out feels like a perfect representation of the moody nature of the music. Speaking about the clip, Nic says, “The video for Monster is a narrative based video that features a lot of driving and aims to be aesthetically pleasing. Matthew James, Alex Montanari and I came together to think about the video a few months back and we all had this vibe of the song revolving around driving and having dark colours. The story itself is supposed to be slightly confusing – am I driving to the burial or from the burial? Am I burying the monster or is the monster burying me?”
The release of Monster is a killer way to kick off 2020 for this exciting young artist, as he enthuses, “It feels fantastic to finally be releasing Monster. I wrote the song over a year ago and have been sitting on it for what feels like forever now. To date, it is probably my favourite song that I’ve written, and I’m super stoked to finally be able to share it with people.”