Ned Younger, aka Monument Valley, is busy telling stories. A slow burn telecaster weaver of words, a lo-fi talker, a tender heart exposed. He’s been playing for a couple of years, making EP’s, taking photographs, all of which can be found on his beautifully minimal blog at monumentvalley.co.uk His new single, ‘Your Cover Blown’, captures little body moments, his London lilt perfectly complementing his delicate finger-picked guitar. The B side, called ‘Very First Alarm’, conjures up a cautionary tale of love, the dreamy accompaniment washing over the tune, melancholic but beautiful. The YouTube videos show an equally minimal recording of his stories, in his native city, fine-looking and gentle, and there seems to be a sense of another tale ready for his telling, around the corner of the street on which he stands and plays. We asked Ned some questions and here are the answers.
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.
Hi, I’m Ned. I’m from London and I’ve been recording and performing under the name Monument Valley for the last couple of years. I’ve released a couple of EPs and my new single is out in May, it’s called Your Cover Blown.
Tell us a bit about your latest single?
It’s inspired by a very good friend of mine who died a couple of years ago. It’s out via Everybody’s Stalking on May 7th. The vinyl comes with a disposable camera and a set of instructions, so I’m excited to see what comes back.
What was your best ever gig?
About a year ago we ran a show at St Pancras Old Church that was cool. Our friends Daughter and Manu Delago played, and we had some poets from ‘Hammer & Tongues’ through the evening. It was called The River Fleet and it was a good night, people keep asking us to do it again.
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
The waiting. It’s such a big part of playing live and recording. It doesn’t come naturally to me, I’d rather be doing than waiting, but I’m getting used to it now.
What inspires you?
Walking around London is where I write the most. I walk places whenever I can and I like the people and stories that you start to see when you do that a lot. I read once that Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian did a similar thing on the Glasgow bus network.
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
I’d give most of it away I think. I’d probably buy a house and make sure it had a studio in it, but other than that it would go on funding cool stuff, mostly with a social focus. Or maybe I’d just buy QPR. Definitely one of the two.
Which of your songs is your favourite and why?
At the moment probably the single (‘Your Cover Blown’). I think it’s the most complete song I’ve released, particularly because the video came together just how I’d imagined it. It was nice to play every instrument on a recording for the first time in ages too.
What are you plans for the future?
More of the same basically, keep recording and playing. I want to have the LP finished by the end of this year.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Bit difficult as I’m not super up on new music I’m afraid. I liked the Other Lives and Youth Lagoon records from last year a lot, and I was just on tour with Boy & Bear, who I enjoyed watching every night. I’m pleased Daughter are doing well, I guess most people on your site will know about them but they’re only just getting started.
Ned’s new vinyl is available to order, and the first to do so will also get a disposable camera, so you can send in snapshots, the results of which will be gathered for a special event and release later in the year. Go and get your cover blown.
words: Felix Bear Lane