words by Isaac Levine (isaaclevine.bandcamp.com):
"Monogamy is releasing the 7" 'semifloral' ... and its one of the best things I've heard made in Ann Arbor since living here. Don has really struck his own in terms of songwriting and record "feel" and lightened up on the distortion a bit (just a bit) which I dig (jus sayin!).
Don's deep record knowledge definitely informs his own style of more driven music and ballads alike. In the world of being some kind of 'DIY Songwriter', Don deftly avoids the pitfalls of preaching about friendship and aching love in ways too obvious or indulgent and instead speaks of his own far-out feelings as a story through which others can access what I can only guess is a long walk home under burning streetlights - red and clairvoyant, occasionally frustrated and wide open. . . and for me - epiphany prone."
here's the record. i thanked a lot of people in the zine but also forgot a bunch of people. let life break your arms
review from The Answer Is In The Beat:
"This is a fantastic slice of multi-tracked noise-pop, carrying on the spirit of Eric’s Trip and the Microphones/Mount Eerie for the current era of DIY music. Don plays almost everything himself, including a ripping sax solo, an incinerating guitar solo, and buzzy synths on the jammer “Twenty-Twenty”. “Low Morale” is a Casiotone For The Painfully Alone-esque chipper electro-pop anthem about being really depressed. “Finally Happy” is a devastating ethereal goth This Mortal Coil ballad/duet, and Don’s voice kind of sounds like Mark Hosler from Negativland here. Fred Thomas mastered this and recorded most of it, so of course it sounds fantastic."
video premiere from Half Gifts:
"Crunchy as dead foliage and just as warmly toned, "Enormous Mirror" is neat mound of autumnal decay piled neatly at the foot of a suburban lawn. Creaky power chords plus a sprinkle of glockenspiel accompany Monogamy's spectral stanzas and the deterioration of VHS footage.
A pickup truck infiltrates the Circle K.
The noisy floorboard wheezes."
single premiere from Modern Vinyl:
"Monogamy began as the solo work of Ann Arbor, Michigan multi-instrumentalist Donald Alfred Lyons III. Around the recording process of Semifloral, a five-track effort resulting from Lyons’ first experience with an outside producer, Lyons fleshed out his live roster with two more members to augment his one-man band. His noise pop, audible on “Low Morale” as intersecting synth melodies are suffocated by dirty, bitcrushed feedback, now features background vocals lifting to match his carnivorous yelp. Despite the upgraded roster, this latest iteration of the Michigan project is hungrier for absolution, pairing lyrical scenes of holding rosaries with another baring sharp teeth, than accessible songwriting, but perhaps catharsis is designed to precede catchiness."
coverage from Tiny Mix Tapes:
"My 7-inch copy of Semifloral comes tucked into a off-white sleeve, tinged with the yellowed hue of unbrushed molars or the butter pecan ice cream that’s eating away at them. Its surface is printed with chlorophyll extracted from spinach leaves, leaving Slimer-like apparitions of album artwork across the Ace Bandage canvas. Even down to its visual and tactile aesthetics, Chicago’s Monogamy revels in residuals — “Twenty-Twenty” sheds stray squalls of wriggling saxophone while “Finally Happy” sends gloomy tufts of power chord twang into the aether like a blown dandelion; “Figuring Out the Shower” is a tooth-loss dream turned pop single, a minute’s worth of acoustic plunks and charming two-part harmonies. Semifloral smells like spinach. It looks like a black bologna disc in a paper supermarket bag. It sounds like the center of the earth."
review from Yellow Green Red:
"Alright, here’s a 7″ fit to print on this website: a weird homemade affair with songs that would only ever appeal to a small majority of the population and a cover that was “hand assembled and printed using a spinach anthotype process (dried spinach on paper exposed to the sun)”, says the hand-scrawled note that came with it. There are five songs here, and while I have no doubt believing they’re all from the same band, they scratch off in different directions, such as manic and damaged synth-pop, miniature acoustic psychedelia and noisy, experimental-leaning indie-pop. I’m hearing the ghosts (and fresh corpses) of artists like Ween, John Maus, Lovesick, Girls Are Short and maybe even a little Flaming Lips, all with the frenzied slacker attitude you’d expect to find in some forgotten corner of a Sub Pop or Matador singles club in 1996. It’s a labor of love in every way, surely to be savored most by friends and family (and strangers like me), and I applaud the three weirdly-named labels involved. Best part is, if you don’t like the record, you can eat the cover before tossing the vinyl in your recycle bin!"
review from Dead Formats:
"You want to know what is weird? This is really weird. Like super, crazy, space pants strange. I am sitting here trying to figure out how to describe this… Maybe like a dark bedroom pop, psychedelic-infused marriage of Jonathan Richman, Calvin Johnson and Ariel Pink with a sort of enthusiasm that makes you want to run into house parties and hug every single drunk teenager and tell them it’s going to be okay. They will be glad you did but they also think you are a weird old creep and that’s okay. Because I am… I mean…because you are. The cover is a little underwhelming but I am still transfixed by how they printed it. It sort of looks like it was screen printed using watercolors. The best part is that there is a little zine inside that has collages, band photos and the lyrics, which are also great. You can find this out there and if any of this sounds interesting I would say you should check it out. It’s killer and bizarre."
ALSO AVAILABLE VIA:
Almost Halloween Time (Italy): www.underwaternow.com/catalog.php?id=049
Citizen of the World (USA): wearecotw.storenvy.com/products/17645765-cotw-003-monogamy-semifloral-7