PREMIERE: In a Tune of Tough Love, Monica Martin is “Cruel” to Be Kind

The Los Angeles–based chanteuse—whose debut EP will be out soon via Republic Records—recognizes that sometimes, love hurts.

Formerly the smoky-voiced lead of Wisconsin-based folk-pop group PHOX, singer-songwriter Monica Martin moved to LA last year to strike out on her own. Her first single “Cruel” was released this October, marking Martin’s breakout as a solo artist, and a new remix, premiered here today, adds some spice from Chance the Rapper–collaborator Peter Cottontale. “[He] has a dreamy playful glitter-brain and he crushed this EMO BOP,” Martin says of Cottontale. Produced by Eg White (Adele, Florence & The Machine, Sam Smith) the track recalls the necessary dissolution of a romance.

“You can equip your lover with the truth, but they might still lie to themselves,” Martin says of “Cruel.” “There is a point where, if you know they aren’t going to manage their expectations as a grown ass person, you’re cruel to not call the incompatibility and leave…”

Martin’s EP release is planned for 2019 via Republic Records, and promises a roster of soulful pop tunes and ex-lover kiss-offs.


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