MonThruSun by Paul Geerts (review)


Hip hop, dance, crossover and grunge. In the early nineties, it is the prevailing music styles. In between, the Tilburg based Soft Parade is an odd man out, with quiet songs that refer to the music of The Doors, The Beatles, Velvet Underground and a legion of other bands from the sixties. Soft Parade does not opt for an obvious path, but seeks out the boundaries of music styles that are hardly discussed in the early nineties. Melancholic melodies versus violent explosions, sometimes pure and sometimes on the edge of what is technically permitted.

“The songs of MonThruSun are now, they have a contemporary sound, they feel familiar and urgent”

They write pop history with it. After a performance of the Eurythmics in Noorderligt, singer / guitarist Hans Bos from Soft Parade hands over a demo to Dave Stewart. It fell in love with spherical music and immediately offered the Tilburg band a contract. The single When Violets Meet is doing well, but the album Puur (1992) falls wild. With Get Well Soon (1995), the band is still trying on its own, to then throw in the towel. Hans is full of it. He moves from Tilburg to Amsterdam, where he now owns a gallery with Esther Koch.

But the need to translate his feelings into music has never faded away, so he picks up the musical thread a quarter of a century later. That Hans still speaks the language of Soft Parade is a compliment. The songs he releases under the name MonThruSun sound current, but they also reflect a tendency to the sixties and seventies. The songs are sometimes dreamy and fragile, sometimes slightly explosive. With his melodic compositions, Hans is on the skin. The polyphonic singing together, the simple chords touch the core and unleash emotions. From the sixties to the early nineties to now: MonThruSun apparently effortlessly bridges a period of almost sixty years, without sounding dated for a single moment. On the contrary. The songs of MonThruSun are now, they have a contemporary sound, they feel familiar and urgent.

Paul Geerts, Journalist (former VPRO, OOR music magazine)