Monochrome, a band hailing from Manila, has recently released their highly anticipated debut album titled "Gray Sky Manila." The album, which took thirteen years to create, has garnered significant attention and is being hailed as one of the standout releases of the year. With only five long tracks, Monochrome manages to create a mesmerizing sonic experience that captivates listeners from start to finish. In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics of "Gray Sky Manila" and delve into the band's distinctive shoegaze sound that sets them apart from traditional expectations of the genre.

Monochrome's 'Gray Sky Manila' A Majestic Debut Album that Captivates Listeners
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A Cinematic Wall of Sound

While shoegaze music is often associated with ethereal vocals and dreamy textures, Monochrome takes a different approach with their purely instrumental tracks on "Gray Sky Manila." The band creates a wall of sound that envelops listeners, evoking a cinematic atmosphere filled with emotion. The music seamlessly balances warmth and chill, offering a dichotomy that intrigues and engages the audience. Each track on the album provides ample space for listeners to immerse themselves in the sonic landscape created by Monochrome.

Influences and Musical Depth

"Gray Sky Manila" showcases Monochrome's diverse influences and musical depth. The album draws comparisons to the likes of Slowdive, Mogwai, Swervedriver, and Ride, blending elements of these iconic bands to create a unique sonic identity. The depth of Slowdive's self-titled debut, the haunting qualities of Mogwai's compositions, and the edginess reminiscent of Swervedriver and Ride all find their place within Monochrome's sound. The band's ability to incorporate these influences while maintaining their distinctiveness is a testament to their musical prowess.

Meticulous Production and Instrumentation

One notable aspect of "Gray Sky Manila" is the meticulous production and instrumentation. The album allows listeners to appreciate the individual instruments, with a mix reminiscent of Thomas Dolby's production on Prefab Sprout's masterpiece, "Steve McQueen." Monochrome's superb mixing and sound engineering result in a sonic tapestry that reveals new layers and nuances with each listen. The attention to detail in the production elevates the album and adds to the overall enjoyment of the listening experience.

A Synergy of Relationships

Monochrome's synergy extends beyond their musical connection. The band members—Donna Grimaldo, DM Abanes, Paolo Valenzuela, Sonia Mendiola, Wesley Valenzuela, and Domeng Grimaldo—share deep-rooted ties. Some members were students of Wesley Valenzuela at the University of Santo Tomas, while others were connected through friendship and relationships. The bonds forged over the years, including shared love for bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and alternative rock, have contributed to the creation of "Gray Sky Manila." The album serves as a culmination of their collective experiences and passion for music.

Availability and Future Performances

"Gray Sky Manila" is currently available for pre-sale on the Facebook page of independent record label Eikon Records, with the formal album launch scheduled for July. In addition to the release, Monochrome will also be performing alongside Sugar Hiccup at a venue called 19 E. Fans of Monochrome and enthusiasts of shoegaze music can look forward to experiencing the band's mesmerizing soundscapes live on stage.


Monochrome's debut album, "Gray Sky Manila," presents a unique take on shoegaze music. Through their purely instrumental tracks, the band constructs a captivating wall of sound that immerses listeners in a cinematic experience. Drawing from influences like Slowdive, Mogwai, Swervedriver, and Ride, Monochrome crafts a distinctive sonic identity. With meticulous production and a synergy borne out of deep-rooted relationships, "Gray Sky Manila" stands as an impressive debut release. As the album gains recognition, it is clear that Monochrome has made their mark on the music scene with their remarkable musicality and commitment to creating a truly immersive listening experience.



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