Monika Christodoulou has been writing and performing her original songs on the Athens, Greece music scene since she was a teenager. After early breakout success with a string of deeply emotional self-recorded tracks posted online, Monika's 2008 debut LP was a platinum seller in her homeland, and she quickly became a major concert draw across Greece and Cyprus, headlining all the major festivals. Her second LP, released in 2010, continued Monika's success at home, but she was already becoming restless, for a different sound and a new direction. On a trip to New York in 2012, Monika made a pilgrimage to Daptone Records' Brooklyn headquarters, to see where some of her favorite artists recorded -- from Sharon Jones to Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson. Almost on a whim, Monika knocked on the door, and Homer Steinweiss (founding member of the Dap-Kings & Menahan Street Band) answered. Soon she was playing demos she had on her phone for Homer and Thomas Brenneck (MSB, Budos Band, etc). The connection was immediate, and the next stage of Monika's career began.
The whole of 2014, Homer and Monika worked together on her songs and her sound, and together they shaped what was to become Secret in the Dark (out Oct. 2, 2015 on Other Music Recording Co.). Recorded at Steinweiss and Brenneck's Dunham Sound Studios in Brooklyn, with Homer producing, Brenneck recording, and a band that included most of the Menahan Street Band, and various members of the Dap-Kings, Antibalas, and others from the Daptone family, the album puts Monika's incredible voice and talents as a songwriter and performer into a completely new context, and also pushes Homer and the band in directions they have rarely explored before. A mix of organic '70s-styled leftfield disco, '80s art-pop, and much more, Secret in the Dark is a distinctly New York album with a breezy Mediterranean heart. It's soulful, arty, and a ton of fun -- a dance record that is much more than that, and will serve as the introduction to the world of the amazing artist and personality that is Monika. With a live band lead by Steinweiss and featuring many of the Daptone regulars, this special Union Pool performance should be an intimate and exciting night.
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