Monsune popped up, like all good things do, on my Youtube Recommended™ in the form of a music video of the third song off of his debut EP Tradition—OUTTA MY MIND. Between the camera work and the colors and the set and the lightning and the actors themselves, the entire music video is something gorgeous. And he directed it? Himself? Like what, now they’re letting the brilliant musicians be brilliant filmmakers, too?

(In case you didn’t know, we’re quite the film experts ourselves.) But no matter how visually incredible OUTTA MY MIND is, it’s MOUNTAIN that’s clearly the best song on Tradition.

He’s got all these instruments and sound effects going with a vaguely metallic twang to them—there’s the clashing of piano keys and soft guitar and drums being beat and the indescribable sound of twinkling stars—it’s hard to say exactly what’s going on except that it all layers together wonderfully. Monsune’s voice is soft and floating at moments, and grounded at others.

While the song originally starts off as maybe an upper-quartile variant of your typical “good indie” song, do NOT quit on it—pretty quickly, the song begins to build. His vocal delivery intensifies, these partially distorted, high-pitched traditional strings are infused and the all the different instrumentals and production effects, vibrant and distinct and genius in their own right, finally come together—and the song FLIES. He briefly reverts back to a soft and stripped down vibe at the 3 minute mark, but you know that it’s just in anticipation of an absolutely insane moment, and then at 3:22 it finally comes, the strings (or is that distorted guitar) comes flying back in and you’re soaring! You want to slam your whole body along with the song. You want to scream or shout along with him: “Higher than a mountaintop!” even though you’re literally just, like, walking to class. The feeling of the song—the layers and the complexity and the clashing and the build from gentleness to catharsis—it’s absolutely wonderful.

Lyrical Highlights:

You wanna cut your insides out?


Tell me when you want to
And I’ll come over just so we can roll around a bit and get high

Also, side note, the aesthetics for this entire EP are fucking genius—just look at the album cover. The circular flash, tinged at the edges, on a field at night, the captured on film feeling it gives, the contrast, just the idea of it, the superimposed Chinese words for tradition, 传统, chuán tǒng, in pale red over the dark and the field—yes! Look at the music video for OUTTA MY MIND and look at the artist photo of Monsune. We’re clearly dealing with a man who really knows both his music and his visuals and is like—he’s like designing the full experience, you know?

We’re beyond excited for a full LP.

You may also like: The rest of the EP
Hazel by Roy Blair