Los Angeles-based duo Midnight To Monaco – vocalist Ricky Ducati and producer Donnie Sloan – release their new single “One Way Ticket” via Island Records. The free-spirited cut, with its radiant vocals, offers a wistful snapshot of journeying through California, where Midnight to Monaco is based and record most of their music.
“I originally wrote the music as an idea for Empire of the Sun, another group I work with, complete with acoustic guitars and synthesizers. But when Ricky sang on the track, it really came alive and perfectly lent itself to the 50's and 60's doo-wop sound we're inspired by. So much so, that the final version features backing vocals from Matt Jardine, the son of original Beach Boy, Al Jardine. It's an ode to Annie, the dream girl that never actually turns up, and perhaps only exists in your imagination.” – Donnie Sloan of Midnight to Monaco
“One Way Ticket”, which exclusively premiered on Noisey/VICE, follows-up Midnight To Monaco’s debut single “One In a Million,” released earlier this year. The dystopian love song, whose shimmering soundscapes and aching vocals gave way to an otherworldly hook, vaulted to Apple Music’s “The A-List: Indie” playlist.
Midnight To Monaco recently premiered the official “One In a Million” video, shot in Los Angeles by Nicolas Randall and Marc-Edouard Leon, one-half of the directing team Skinny. The clip followed the story of Ricky Ducati portraying a failed acting icon facing the stark reality of Tinseltown. (Because after all, not everyone can be one in a million!)
“We wanted to make a video that combines our favorite aesthetic elements from the last 70 years,” Midnight To Monaco said. “Much in the same way we approach making our music. We're very much into mid-century fashion, architecture and vintage cars. Our goal was to combine those elements in a modern context with a compelling story about the darker side of L.A.”
That concept extends to the upcoming debut EP from Midnight To Monaco, which will include “One Way Ticket” and “One In a Million.” The original for the release was created by 1950s-’60s pulp-legend Robert McGinnis (the man behind more than 1,200 paperback book covers, and over 30 iconic movie posters, including Diamonds Are Forever, Barbarella and Breakfast at Tiffany’s). His artwork places two men (Ricky and Donnie) in ’60s-era mise-en-scènes with ominous edges.
Before Midnight To Monaco, Donnie Sloan had been writing and producing songs in Australia (including Empire Of the Sun’s platinum-selling “Walking on a Dream”), when a friend suggested he forge his own project. Fate brought him to Ricky, a Canadian musician who was already a fan of Donnie’s work. And who introduced himself to Donnie on a whim through social media. Donnie was immediately taken by Ricky’s elastic voice, which filled the space between melodic pop and darkwave.
Cerulean-blue pools glistening. Jetsetters lying stylishly in repose. Palm trees fluttering at dusk. These are the images evoked by the alt-“nu-wop” sound of Midnight To Monaco – music that’s at once vintage but futuristic, sunny but conflicted, singular but intricate. Midnight To Monaco endeavor to design an escapist soundtrack that expands on what pop music can be