Monogem, the nom de tune of singer-songwriter Jen Hirsh, debuted in 2014 with a sound that was part ’80s shine, part ’90s soul and wholly seductive. Monogem’s first singles were wrapped into a self-titled EP released in 2015, and since then Hirsh has been working on the follow-up, the seven-song “100%,” which arrives May 19.
It includes a title track co-written and produced by Neara Russell — “the first time I’d ever worked with just another woman in the room, which was incredibly inspiring and natural,” Hirsh says — and the single “Wild,” which debuted via a music video starring Coco Arquette, the daughter of Courteney Cox and David Arquette) and Matthew RC Taylor.
||| Stream: “100%”
In anticipation of both the EP release, her show at the Bootleg Theater later this month and the inevitable tour that follows, Buzz Bands LA asked Hirsh to dial up a road-trip mixtape of some of her favorite Los Angeles artists. She calls it “Fave LA Bands X Your Next Road-Trip” and says:
Los Angeles is overflowing with incredible talent and I am lucky to call most of these artists/bands my friends. Fasten your seatbelt, roll the windows down and let the wind blow through your hair — I’ve got the perfect soundtrack for your next road-trip.
||| Stream: The mixtape via Spotify (with Hirsh’s comments on some of the tracks below):
Electric Guest, “Oh Devil” — The perfect first song to set the tone of a long drive. Asa is one of my favorite vocalists in L.A. right now. While I don’t know the band personally, it would be a dream to collaborate with them.
Haim, “Falling” — Obviously, can’t have a playlist without my 3 favorite Jewish girls from the valley.
Luna Shadows, “Waves”
Pr0files, “Call Yourself a Lover” — Danny and Lauren are the best. I feel like the birth of Pr0files and MONOGEM happened around the same time, in a way I feel like we are blood brothers and I love everything that they do.
TRACE, “Heavy Shoulders”
Party Nails, “Break” — I LOVE PARTY NAILS. She is also playing my release show May 24. She is absolutely the real deal.
Bay Ledges, “Safe”
Freedom Fry, “Shaky Ground” — Bruce and Marie are special people. It’s only fitting that their music gives me all the warm fuzzies.
The Palms, “Stupid LA Love Song” — I always love it when someone writes a stellar song about my hometown.
Riothorse Royale, “Rabbit Hole”
Chimney, “Walk Don’t Run”
Ella Vos, “White Noise”
Gavin Turek, “The Distance” — My favorite Gavin Turek song to date. Her voice is like freshly whipped butter.
Valida, “Stars” (Luxxury Remix)
||| Live: Monogem celebrates the new EP with a show May 24 at the Bootleg Theater along with Party Nails and Sheare. Tickets.