London based band, Junkyard Romantics, have just released their debut single, Mona Lisa, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have been taking a few thoroughly enjoyable listens today to this captivating new single.

Mona Lisa, in the words of the band, was “inspired by those people that don’t like smiling for photos. The feelings of insecurity and anxiety are explored in the verses, while the chorus celebrates the joyous truth that real beauty is found in knowing the one you love better than anybody else does.”

The song starts with some dreamy guitar which then builds straight into a full band sound with the vocals coming in immediately with a highly impactful presence.

The drums in this song are tight and bright and the bass line is interesting and busy without being dominating. This is highly creative and original writing from a band that gel extremely well together.

The song builds quickly and adds layered vocals and harmonies with some exceptional incidental panned guitar fills.

There is very clear separation between sections in this track. There’s a lot happening at any given moment to maintain the listeners interest. We particularly like the drop down in the second verse that helps to build interest and tension in the song.

Lead singer, Gaz Calder, has a very characterful and endearing voice. His high notes have a great belt quality to them with just a touch of twang to give a slightly metallic edge to them. They sit nicely in the mix and are clear and easy to distinguish every lyric. The vocals are confident and with very little effect on them.

The brief instrumental section to end contains a simple repeated guitar riff which ties everything up nicely. This really is a superbly crafted track with great performance from each individual band member pulling together to create a highly original and creative sound.

From a production perspective, the track seems a little quiet in comparison to other similar releases. A low shelf boost in the bottom 3 octaves or so with an additional boost centred around 80Hz would bring the kick drum and the expertly played bass line further in to the mix. A small dip around 200Hz would reduce a slight peak in the top snare mic. To our ears, the top octave could also use a shelf boost. These adjustments will boost the volume slightly already. After this, a light compressor / limiter and around 5-6dB of make up gain would bring the song more in line.

Junkyard Romantics single, Mona Lisa, is quite simply, an astonishing debut from a supremely tight and innovative band. We cannot wait to hear more from this new London based quartet.