Gently Dancing with Maria Monroy’s Debut Single – ‘Feathers’

Maria Monroy

“Feathers is an intimate Indie Folk love song that speaks to the beauty of finding escapism with someone.”

– Maria Monroy

Contrary to what its title might suggest, ‘Feathers’ is not a track to be taken lightly. It is rather a rich, harmonious modern ballad that shows off the experience and creativity of Chilean London-based songwriter, Maria Monroy. Recorded in London, Monroy worked with producer Cuco Errazuriz to assemble a debut song that expertly waltzes through the genres of Indie, folk and classical music. ‘Feathers’ is a thing of beauty – it is hard not to be infatuated with Monroy’s sound. 

The subtle tremolo on the opening guitar riff fluctuates the tone of the intro between harmony and dissonance. This unique blend of sounds settles into pure harmony by the time the first chorus arrives.  Monroy’s vocals are angelic amidst the accompanying choir-like instrumental. The introduction of a piano and acoustic guitar gracefully enriches the chorus.

Now, Monroy’s layering in ‘Feathers’ is the real strength of the track to me. Her ability to make her instruments converse with one another is much the sign of a musician who creates and performs with their heart. Additionally, Monroy’s background as a trained composer shines through in the creative composition of the song both structurally and instrumentally. For example, there is a calculated carefulness in the way the chorus progresses, intricately treading through minor and major melodies to create something profoundly bittersweet. Monroy cites inspirations like Angel Olson, Lana Del Rey, and Sharon Van Etten – artists most recognised for their melancholic yet romantic sounds. You can certainly hear these influences in ‘Feathers’, yet the track has its own feel to it because Monroy does not simply emulate pre-existing sounds but builds upon them with her unique songwriting and instrumentation.

Listen to Feathers by Maria Monroy on Spotify

“My songwriting style explores the mentioned themes of escapism, identity and romance as those are always themes that have shaped my experiences in life and themes which I have an ever-changing relationship with.”

– Maria Monroy

I absolutely adore the way the drums sit in the mix, with its dampened snare and lo-fi kick – it is the heartbeat of the song. There is something incredibly human about ‘Feathers’, as if each instrumental component of the song is in some way a part of Monroy, communicating through the metaphysical medium of music. I reference metaphysics precisely because for Monroy, the song is intended to speak to the beauty of finding escapism with someone. That escapism is certainly true for the listener – the song acting as a 3 minute 58 second hypnosis, plunging us into the metaphysical realm of Monroy’s dream. Make no mistake though, this dream is one heavily tainted by romance. Perhaps the most romantic component of the song is the violin, played by Clem Brown and Lewis Hammond.  They make their entrance halfway through the track, setting the stage for ‘Feathers’ grand climax.  This addition slowly introduces another layer of grace that complements Monroy’s already graceful vocals. After the final chorus, the song ends with the collective, melodic cries of the violins, guitars and piano in a repeated, trance-like phrase. We are finally left to bask in the golden rays of the ending major 7th chord – a beautiful touch.

“Songwriting has always been a therapeutic practice for me hence the anecdotal framing I give it.”

– Maria Monroy

Maria Monroy plans to release more music this year and is also expected to announce dates for some live shows. For readers after a refreshing take on ballads and Indie Folk music, Maria Monroy is the artist for you, and you can find more about the artist on her website here, and of course – Instagram. If you enjoyed this, check out more reviews from IAMUR here.

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