After several years of working on each of their respective solo projects, Fried Monk (Lucas Kozinski) and Beautiful-Fortune (Jameel Farruk) join forces on the experimental EP called Here As One. With a sound in the same vein as Broken Bells, Gorillaz and MGMT, this new collaborative project makes for a quick but enjoyable listen. The EP is built around the strength of the lead single, “Planet B,” that drives most of the lasting impact of the record. In a recent interview Farruk described the track by stating, “I’m overly curious about the sun. I’m borderline obsessed with it. As a solo artist, I can’t help myself from having referred to the sun over and over throughout my catalogue of songs.” Based primarily on the aftermath of a difficult breakup, Farruk describes the song as “a declaration of my acceptance of a life without her.” With so much packed into these three songs, it’s hard to not take notice over the two artists’ chemistry.
The record opens with near silence in “Patient Zero” that quickly fades away at the sound of an acoustic guitar and a programmed beat. The sound the band went for on this track immediately brought to mind several trance acts like Gorillaz, and Beach House, both of whom rely on atmospheric sounds to help drive the mood of their songs. “Planet B” is clearly the strongest song on the record, and it becomes clearly evident on why the collaborators chose to release this as the first taste of this record. With an upbeat tempo built around the premise of looking for new experiences, they sing on the chorus, “Don’t search for me, on Planet B / I’ll be living on the sun / Living here as one.” The band gets into a nice groove on this track as they sway between the traded vocal parts and make for a song worthy of your next playlist.
”That Simple” closes out the EP with some additional rich musical landscapes that are largely arranged an electric guitar and fairly simple beat to bring more focus onto the lyrics. The band does a good job of taking their time to build out their sound on this song and the breathy vocals towards the latter stages of the track help hone in on the emotions they wanted to convey here. With so much groove and undeniable chemistry found on this EP, one can only hope these two talented musicians continue to work with each other to create their art.