Stormy Mondays: The Lay of the Land, Wading the River

By Antiem Boyd
Two EPs, The Lay of the Land and Wading the River, are a decidedly of a Euro Counting Crows vibe and a Scottish pop group by way of Spain dipped in the quirkier side of New Jersey. Stormy Monday’s sound is hard to place. And that’s just fine.

Astronauts have had the chance to experience Stormy Monday’s music onboard the now-retired Endeavor Space Shuttle as the band was selected by NASA as one of their space rock contest winners back in the day. And who knows, maybe some of their music is on the International Space Station rotation. It certainly wouldn’t be out of place. There’s something cosmic about Stormy Monday’s approach to storytelling.

Both EPs are ponderous and flowing. There’s an old rock vintage thing with some tracks such as “Struck By Life” on Wading the River. The comparison to Bruce Springsteen within the music of the track has popped up more than once. There’s an undeniable George Harrison vibe running through the lyrics, especially on The Lay of the Land.

The big draw for Stormy Mondays is the simplicity. Direct and compelling, delicious ‘80s pop, a strain of accordion, a flicker of dance, all very enticing. On both records, Stormy Mondays keep the message in a straight line. Keep the emotions connected. It’s also okay to echo the greats that have come before. Music need not be exclusive on previous ideas or approaches. It’s how you draw it to yourself and refract it back out as your particular sound.

The Lay of the Land is slightly more upbeat but is equally as enjoyable as Wading The River. here’s a lot of take in across the collective of 13 tracks. We suggest downloading both.

“Talking in My Sleep”

Stormy Mondays Members/Instruments:
Jorge Otero – vocals, electric and acoustic guitar (6 and 12 strings), tenor guitar, Veillette Gryphon, Lap Steel, percussion
Pablo Bertrand – piano, Hammond organ, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, Michelsonne toy piano, glockenspiel, background vocals
Danny Montgomery – drums, percussion
Dani Menéndez – acoustic and electric guitar, EBow, background vocals
Rafa Sánchez – electric and fretless bass, Bass VI, electric guitar, ukulele, background vocals

Héctor Braga – hurdy-gurdy, violin, violoncello
Juan Flores – tenor and baritone sax, flute, clarinet
Miguel Herrero – trumpet, flügelhorn, percussion

Produced by Jorge Otero.
Recorded in Estudios Acme (Asturias, Spain) by Miguel Herrero and Satélite Estudios (Asturias, Spain) by Jorge Otero and Juanjo Zamorano.

Mixed in StudioStav (Australia) by Michael Stavrou (“Stav”). Stav worked for 10 years as a Sound Balance Engineer at George Martin’s AIR Studios. His resumé is incredible, from Bowie and McCartney to Crowded House, or a Grammy for the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

Wading the River Tracklisting:
1. Love And Fire
2. Nobody Knows
3. Silent Star
4. Struck By Life
5. One Note (Rock And Roll)
6. Never Enough

The Lay of the Land Tracklisting:
1. Talking In My Sleep
2. My Lil’ Darling
3. Merry-Go-Round
4. Moon Almost Full
5. My Midnight World
6. The Finish Line
7. Dormi ya (bonus track)