By: Eric Haftel

Hey Monday is a female fronted American four-piece rock band from West Palm Beach, Florida that formed in 2008. Over the last couple years, Hey Monday has taken the music world by storm with hits such as “Homecoming” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance.”

Their most recent EP Candles was released digitally on February 8, 2011 and gives listeners a look into Hey Monday’s past while also presenting a glimpse into the band’s future. When looking at the song titles, it is difficult to even classify this album as an EP because it contains only three songs; two of which are “Candles.”

This EP was likely created as a reminder for fans in today’s fast-paced music industry that Hey Monday is still around and putting out music even after the departure of fan-favorite, Jersey Moriarty. This release might also just be a way to generate some extra buzz for the band before they head out on “The Dirty Work Tour” this spring with All Time Low and Yellowcard.

Whatever the reason for the release of this EP, Hey Monday may have been better off waiting to release a new album rather than a new EP. However, “Candles” was a good song when first released on their debut album Hold On Tight, and this EP does prove it is still just as solid without Moriarty.

The new EP starts off with the brand new version of “Candles. Although the intro has a very similar vibe to the first version, the new “Candles” is more of a rock song, while the older version sounded more soulful and had more heart. This new sound shows Hey Monday’s growth and change as a band.

As soon as Cassadee Pope begins to sing, listeners can hear the difference. Her voice bursts through the speakers with a much more professional, experienced voice than in previously released songs. When comparing the two versions, one can’t help but hear the major differences in the band as a whole. The first version had a more raw sound in comparison to the more produced, studio quality version this time around.

The next song up is a brand new track called, The One That Got Away.” Interestingly enough, this song was originally slated to be on their first EP Beneath It All, but it got cut at the last second to shorten the album. It is not difficult to tell this song would have fit well on that EP. “The One That Got Away” starts off with a guitar intro and within five seconds, Pope’s vocals come in. The second she begins to sing, one can’t help but notice how much her voice has matured through the years. Once the chorus comes, I am sold. This song has the potential to shift Hey Monday towards a mainstream crowd and it has all the makings to be their next pop hit.

The last song is a demo of “Candles” and personally, while I know they call this a demo, it is just an acoustic version. There are no changes that I could really tell other then the instruments being played. Take out the electric guitar and drums, plug in an acoustic guitar and you have track three. I personally would have stopped at two versions of  “Candles” but who am I to stop music from happening?

While I am not thrilled with this new EP, I do like the overall new sound of Hey Monday and look forward to hearing a more formal release from this band in the future.

Rating: 6.5/10
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Record Label: Decaydance/Columbia
Recommended Tracks: Candles” // “The One That Got Away” //
For Fans Of: Paramore, The Maine, Every Avenue
Website: http://www.heymondaymusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/heymonday
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/heymonday
Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KVNVM4/ref=dm_att_alb1