There’s a specific point to the performance-oriented videos for Detroit electronic band Liquid Monk– including the new “Hollywood,” featuring singer Jaye Prime, premiering exclusively below.
“The intent is to just showcase the fact that it’s a band making this type of music and not, like, a producer or DJ or something,” explains the group’s Dan Gruszka. “It’s the four of us, and then we work with various kinds of vocalists and rappers that we meet and have made connections with. That was kind of the intention behind the video, to show that it’s people playing the music.”
That approach was a new course for the southeast Michigan quartet’s self-titled debut album, which came out during September. After an EP, Yaga, got Liquid Monk performing, Gruszka says the troupe “met a bunch of different people from playing shows and being around the city and doing whatever. We came across a number of artists, whether we got a tip from a friend or saw them at a gig and went, ‘Man, that person sounds great!’ We just thought it’d be cool to make a track with a rapper or do a soul-oriented track with a singer. But underlying them, what ties it all together is the four of us as a band. There’s a common sound even though there’s different people singing or rapping. That’s kind of what we were going for.” Prime was one of the first singers Liquid Monk worked with on the project, being recommended by some friends at Assemble Sound in Detroit.
“I went online and checked out her music and loved it,” Gruszka says. “After we laid down the instrumental (for ‘Hollywood’) in the studio a couple of months later I randomly found her email and sent her the track — ‘Hey, my name’s Dan. We’ve got this track; Would you be interested in working on it.’ She said, ‘That’d be cool, let’s do a phone call.’ Three or four days later I called her and she was like, ‘Hey, I’ve got a sketch done for the song I’m gonna send you.’ She didn’t even wait to talk, she just did it. That was pretty wild.”
“Hollywood” is the third video from Liquid Monk’s album, following “On The Rocks” with Prime and Hugo Biggs and “Nighttime” with Kameryn Ogden. Gruszka says the group finds working with vocalists “a little easier” than straight-up instrumental electronic tracks. “When you work with someone outside of the group they have their whole own take on it that might take it in a completely different vibe and direction that we didn’t anticipate,” he says. “And then we’d get inspiration from what the collaborator was doing and do some more work on the track. That was exciting.”
“Hollywood” is the last planned single and video from Liquid Monk’s album, and the idea now is to start working on new music, though that process hasn’t started yet. “We’re just pretty much wrapping up the whole release cycle of this album,” Gruszka says. “We’re trying to book some shows now and just get our feet back on the ground. Probably the next step over the winter and into next spring is to start working on some new material and a follow-up. We’re excited to see where it takes us.”