SECRET IN THE DARK
OTHER MUSIC RECORDING CO
Monika Christodoulou was barely a teenager when she started performing with local indie bands and writing her own original songs in Athens, Greece. Myspace era brought early breakout success with Monika posting darkly emotional tracks online and in 2008 her debut LP, sung in English, became a platinum seller in her homeland. Soon she was headlining all major Greek festivals and gracing the covers of music and fashion magazines. Her second LP, another set of beautiful and deeply emotional ballads released in 2010, continued Monika's broad success at home, but she was already becoming restless, seeking for a different sound and a new direction.
Early on her career as a professional musician and composer, Monika took on projects outside of her pop aesthetic. Writing scores for two acclaimed theater productions she began spending more and more time abroad. On a trip to New York in 2012, she made a pilgrimage to Dunham Sounds Studios Brooklyn headquarters, to see where some of her favorite artists from the Daptone soul scene had recorded; 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 becomeSecret in the Dark.
Speaking about her relationship with Steinweiss, Monika says, “I always believed that the greatest songs are born through a friendship. When Homer and I started talking about this project, we would go to the movies, or for long drives listening to our favorite old records. It was like we taught each other to love music from scratch. Musically, Homer came from the ‘60s, I came from the ‘90s… we met somewhere in between. Homer and the guys brought me into their world, and I’ve never had so much fun working on an album.”
The album was recorded by Steinweiss and Brenneck at Dunham, with Homer producing, and a band featuring Steinweiss, Brenneck, Nick Movshon, Victor Axelrod, Leon Michels, and other members of Menahan Street Band / Dap Kings fame. In various combinations this group has worked on classic albums from artists including Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, Mick Ronson, Adele, Charles Bradley, Dan Auerbach, and many more while in Monika’s case, they put her incredible voice and composing talent into a completely new context.Additional the album pushes producer Homer Steinweiss and the band in directions they have rarely explored before.Not a surprise then, that Andrew Wyatt from Mike Snow while visiting Dunham studios, record vocals for “Shake Your Hands” track. For the final step, Monika and Homer mixed Secret In The Dark with John Congleton at Elmwood Recordings. A blend of organic ‘70s-styled left field 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, and will serve as the introduction to the world of the amazing artist and personality that is Monika.