Hometown: Baltimore

Current members: Andy Stack, drums, vocals and bass; Jenn Wasner, vocals and guitar

Founded in: 2006

Style: indie folk rock

Influenced by: Smog, Yo La Tengo, Deerhoof

Notable: The band's brand-new first album, If Children, is thickly layered with instrumentation. Live, Stack plays the drums with one hand and the keyboard bass with the other while Wasner handles guitar and sings.

Quotable: "It's almost like a circus act -- a tightrope walk that I'm doing," Stack said. "I really felt an apprehension about that setup taking the focus away from the songwriting and the songs. I think that's something we're toying with as we go. The more we play, the more the songs can speak for themselves, and the instrumentation only becomes a vehicle for the songs."

The artist: myspace.com/monarchbaltimore.



sam.sessa@baltsun.com