Arts & Culture

Reliant Tom’s new single “Happy Birthday” is dark and brooding avant-pop

Via Diversion Records


“This is a sonically dynamic duo that demands to be recognized...”
Today, New York-based indie-pop duo, Reliant Tom, released their dark and brooding new single, “Happy Birthday.” The brainchild of Monte Weber and Claire Cuny, Reliant Tom blend together spacey synths and grounded guitars, soaring vocals and deep beats. They constantly push genre boundaries to the limit with their experimental brand of avant-pop. We’ve partnered with Jammerzine to bring you the premiere of “Happy Birthday” from their upcoming full-length, Bad Orange out this November.

“Happy Birthday was partly influenced by the first time Monte came home to Texas to meet my parents for the first time. My mom is a very mysterious character- even to me. She’s smart, sometimes cutting, she’s strong, sometimes stubborn. She has a tendency to let her depression take over her but she’s also hilarious in a wry kind of way. Monte’s visit happened to fall onto my Mom’s birthday. The whole family was trying to plan a nice dinner out to celebrate but my mom came out in a bathrobe and said, I just want to stay in bed and be left alone today, and then disappeared into the darkness of her bedroom. I completely understood this impulse all too well and wanted to write about it.” -Claire Cuny

The roots of Reliant Tom formed shortly after composer Monte Weber met choreographer and vocalist Claire Cuny at a DIY show in Brooklyn.

Monte comes from a musical family and began his journey at a young age. His parents ran, and still run, a Brazilian Band in Western, MA. This initially lead him to perform and teach Brazilian percussion. As an adult he went on to study music composition in college and graduate school, first focusing on electro-acoustic composition and then studying at IRCAM where he began designing his Kontrol instrument, a way for Weber to make electronic music more tactile in performance.

“Reliant Tom gives me the outlet to explore both pulse driven works while maintaining the other musical elements which I find fascinating – timbre, aleatoric processes, and interactive technologies.” –Monte

Claire started playing music much later in life. Beginning her artistic journey as a ballet dancer in Dallas, she later moved to NYC where she immersed herself in the NYC art scene.

In addition to the more conventional instrumentation of drums, synthesizers, and guitars, in both recording and live performances, the band also makes use of custom and alternate controllers such as joysticks, breath controllers, hot hand rings, and drawing tablets to make the electronic instruments more physical and expressive. In many of their performances, Reliant Tom also utilizes visual elements and dancers that also make use of the wearable sound-controlling tech.

Reliant Tom recently signed with Diversion Records and will be releasing their new album Bad Orange on November 2nd, 2018.

Please direct all press inquiries to George Chammas – george@planetarygroup [dot] com

About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: