Drawing from historical monuments like the Estonian Singing Revolution and the shaking of the New Madrid Fault Line, as well as great minds like Rainer Maria Rilke and Virginia Woolf, the EP merges fear, loss, vitality, and the delicacy of existence — each mechanized in an array of sonic texture and wrapped in soaring melodies.
“The largest, overarching theme of SMiLE is death in its many forms,” says Munsell. “I spent a lot of time contemplating ego death, what death looks like on the internet, how it feels to die suddenly with no presumption, the intentional death of past self as you move towards your destiny of who you are supposed to be, watching your deepest love die beside you, and even claiming victory over death — the innate desire to live.”
She continues: “On this EP in particular, I wanted to bring in vocalists that are known for other genres, pull in friends who play in other bands but also have a passion for MIDI composition and production, run lyrics by friends who are published poets...Even the artwork for SMiLE was done by a friend who is trained in other art mediums and hadn't done album artwork before.”
Her debut release features guest vocals from Mike Sugars (Vatican) and Emma Boster (Dying Wish), and has broken every belief Munsell has ever known in her songwriting. “I can't say that I have a personal philosophy. In fact, in the last year, every philosophy I adhered to was uprooted. So I guess for now, I believe in this: Don't feed the algorithm. Instead, break it. We are volatile and fragile machines — the music we create can be a conduit of the human condition, if we allow it.”
SMiLE is now available on all music streaming platforms. Learn more and stay in touch at iris-exe.io.
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Based in St. Louis, MO, industrial goth pop persona, iRis.EXE is driven by the mind and imagination of Madelyn Munsell. Both a solo and collaborative project, Munsell acts as the primary songwriter and performer, bringing in other minds for production, features, and instrumentation. Her latest musical endeavor took shape in the thicket of the pandemic, after merging her classical music background with a career in software engineering. The entire scope of Munsell’s influences — ranging from art song and choral music and opera to metal to drum and bass, trance, metal, hardcore, pop, J-rock, and darkwave — can be found in her debut EP release for iRis.EXE, SMiLE. And while such influences are deeply personal, their role in iRis.EXE is dictated by the music alone.