Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadler started Monade (rhymes with “canard”) in her bedroom in the mid-nineties and has since developed a bunch of initiative and put out a couple of records. A Few Steps More is Monade’s second album, and although it has a few tracks worth playing for your neighbor, it’s not really anything to play for more than one neighbor. It’s a single-neighbor record.
In April 2003, Sadler’s side-project recordings had become a tangible reality, and they were released on Drag City as Socialisme ou Barbarie: The Bedroom Recordings. On A Few Steps More, the home-recording sound from the previous effort has been upgraded to a full-on studio recording, courtesy of Stereolab’s France-based studio Instant Zero. Though it’s soothing at times, A Few Steps More doesn’t really boast any kind of bumps, and it’s difficult to discern one track from the next.
Swells of organ, occasional sullen tones of Sadler’s trombone, and jazzy interludes contribute to a sense of sleepiness that’s more off-putting than it is comfortable. The title track gets the prize, and as the second song it comes way too early. It’s almost entirely instrumental, bursting with energy and a climactic melody built around a single guitar line, accompanied by pleasant keys. Sadler’s always-welcome vocals meld well with the subtle, minimal arrangements, but outside of a few memorable numbers, there’s pretty much one lazy pop sound on this record. It’s most fitting that the idea transpired in a bedroom, because my ass ends up in bed every time I get halfway through this.