Monica Martin is a Chicago-born singer-songwriter who grew up in rural Wisconsin, mostly waiting for Billie Holiday videos to load on back-country dial-up or making trips in a busted Geo Metro to watch punk shows in Milwaukee. Trained as a hairdresser, she didn’t have musical plans beyond joke riffing harmonies over the radio.
After being coaxed by her best friend Matt, she started to sing in public and on friends’ records, which all led to her writing her own songs. She fronted experimental-folk-pop sextet, PHOX, formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 2012. PHOX released an eponymous album, played big festivals, national TV shows, and flew overseas to play shows far away from home. PHOX went on indefinite hiatus in 2017, and Monica moved to LA because “Wisconsin is cold as f*ck”. She found herself a periwinkle casita and is feeling freer than ever in the city of misfits.
She’s presently at work unpacking her mental confusions by cataloging/celebrating the fuckery of her ex-es (and herself) in lowkey pop songs with soul whispers, some golden-era hollywood dramatics, and psychedelic flickers courtesy of a theremin. Monica is still figuring out who she is, but quite happy to share her cautionary tales: “I made hundreds of mistakes so you don’t have to.”
Earlier this year, Monica started recording some of the songs she’s been writing since the move. On October 19th, she’s released the first one, called, “Cruel.”
“You can equip your lover with the truth, but they might still lie to themselves,” she says on the song, ”there is a point where, if you know they aren’t going to manage their expectations as a grown ass person, you’re cruel to not call the incompatibility and leave… “