Monsune is the indie electronic project of Toronto-based artist Scott Zhang. As a producer, multi-instrumentalist, and self-proclaimed “bedroom boy,” he combines meticulously chosen samples with his own compositions, and the result is clean, crisp, and powerful all at once. His debut single “Nothing In Return” – featuring quirky samples from Dorothy Ashby, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Skull Snaps, and Aiko – begins with bouts of bright, shimmering samples, laying a foundation for Zhang’s rich vocals to completely transform the track. Despite the nature lyrical narrative – described as “being at the beck and call of a potential lover” – it still sounds exuberant and hopeful, again, either from the soulful strength of the vocals, or the horn-lead menagerie of orchestral instrumentals. Yet, there’s also a layer of vulnerability lurking underneath, clear towards the closing when he admits “I guess your silence/ keeps me warm,” although its clear that he doesn’t really want to believe it. Regardless, its a stunning amalgamation of strength as well as vulnerability, and the ways in which the potency rise and fall for each throughout the track is a testament to Monsume’s prowess as a producer.
photo courtesy of artist/ sodwee