Released: 9th December 2016
'Monad' is the debut album from Portraits. Portraits combines the diverse backgrounds of two musicians on different continents, united by a desire to create new and interesting music that incorporates elements of alternative rock, metal, and ethnomusicology. Dark, brooding guitars are united with thundering yet intricate drums, and this musical core is tied together by melodic vocals. The lyrics are at the same time both accessible and challenging, and the foremost topic explored in the album is the history of how humans have reflected on themselves and the world around them. How intellectual curiosity materialised in different ways at different times.
The album is cyclical so listening with 'repeat all' activated is recommended for true immersion. Cycles were used at different scales within the album, within individual songs and the album as a whole. The cycle is also used as a metaphor for how the human endeavour often circles around on itself, ending where it started.
The album was recorded at Chapel Studios and Hurt Studios, Engineered by Tim Morris and Ben Slack. Strings were arranged by Ben Slack with additional arrangement by Paul Sartin. Lyrics were written by John Williams with additional lyrics by Ben Slack. The album was mixed by Tim Morris. 'Monad' was mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London by Sean Magee. Artwork design by John Williams and Ben Slack.