Mono XL’s unmistakable eighties vibe doesn’t feel forced or coerced. “Brown Eyes” is not just a dance-in-the-comfort-of-your-bedroom type of song, but an immersive, elusive experience that makes good use of the bass as much as it does with synthesizers. A track about falling in love at heart, “Brown Eyes” ticks all the unexpected boxes linked to psychedelic and synth indie rock. Listeners would immediately notice the vulnerability and honesty with which Mike de Lis orchestrates this track, it’s strictly his vision from start to finish, the actualization of a sound that he has been chasing for years. The almost 6-minute long track shifts genres without losing its poignant 80s vibe, retreating into the background to give space for an authentic, synth-heavy sound that lures in as much as it engulfs.
Mono XL is Mike de Lis’s passion project and the choice of a personal solo project shows how bold it must have been to make such a creative decision and go against the flow with a multi-instrumental sound that leans in favor of Pet Shop Boys but retains the allure of Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd.