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On Overmono: Beats, Brotherhood & the Journey to Global Dance Domination

After tearing up our dancefloors earlier this year, the Welsh electronic duo is set for an exciting return Down Under this New Year’s



As the New Year looms on the horizon, brace yourself for the return of Overmono—the Welsh electronic duo hailed as ‘The UK’s next massive dance duo’ and Best Live Act

Siblings Tom and Ed Russell, breaking free from their solo careers in the UK underground scene, joined forces to form Overmono in 2016. Tom, the techno maestro known as Truss, and the younger Ed, crafting breakbeats as Tessela, blended their sounds, creating not only something fresh but also rekindling their brotherly bond. And this year has been nothing short of stellar for them.

Taking their electrifying live show, considered the ultimate way to present their music, to some of the world’s biggest festivals – Coachella, Gala, and Primavera Sound, along with numerous other performances across the UK, US, and Europe – Overmono have been winning over global fans thanks to their euphoric drops and striking visual accompaniments, complete with their steadfast Doberman mascot.

Armed with their eagerly awaited full-length album, Good Lies, released in May, they’re set to see in the New Year with a bang in New Zealand and Australia. So, what were their impressions of these shores on their March debut here?

Tom, who reckons he’s toured more this year than in his entire solo career spanning over a decade, reflects on a DJ gig in Australia several years ago, chuckling about a tardy festival pick-up after a late night out. “The guy meant to pick us up had a massive night the night before; we ended up being like three hours late for the festival,” he laughs. “That was my only experience of playing in Australia before, so this time, back in March, it blew our minds to see a sea of people who knew our music.”

“Some of the locations were absolutely insane, playing with the sun setting, feeling far away from home, but so many people knowing our music made it special,” adds Ed.


Overmono’s Boiler Room set at the Warehouse Project in Manchester

During a brief respite from the road, catching up over Zoom before a beachside festival in Miami, the duo expresses genuine surprise at the warm reception worldwide for their transcendent dance anthems — tracks that resonate as powerfully in a bustling club as they do through your headphones.

After a string of singles and EPs, Good Lies stands as their most thrilling work to date. Across the 12 tracks, anchored in repetitive loops, they showcase mastery with melodic vocal samples, deftly chopped into catchy and sometimes barely recognisable forms.

While some tracks are precision-crafted for heaving crowds (their signature “So U Kno” became a post-lockdown anthem in clubs across Europe), the richly textured sound of the album traverses a spectrum of emotions, seamlessly shifting between euphoria and melancholy – an emotional resonance that echoes within the duo.

Ed reveals: “I used to want to make music that would stop people in their tracks in a club, something broken, or memorable the next day, and be like, what was that. I think I’ve got that out of my system, and Tom pursued his solo projects. As we’ve done music together, we want to make music that maybe sticks with you more emotionally.”

Sharing a quick laugh, the brothers decide who should explain more of their creative approach. It’s Tom’s turn. “We’re both drawn to music that can change with your emotions – whether you’re feeling down or really amped up. It’s that in-between state we’re often honing in on in the studio, not overtly one thing or another. That’s our sweet spot.”

Mostly crafted on the road, in hotel rooms post-shows or during flights, the demos were later fine-tuned in the seclusion of their home studios. They made a point to refine the tracks away from the clamour of the audience, sharing their music only with each other.

“You definitely carry the energy from the show into the studio, but when we’re there, we aim to make whatever feels right on that particular day. The live show naturally influences it, but we’re not intentionally crafting music for larger crowds or anything calculated like that,” Tom says. 

Despite a 10-year age gap and separate parents, the close-knit siblings have always bonded over their shared love of music. Growing up in a small town in South Wales, far away from London’s booming rave and techno scene, they turned to music as a creative outlet. 

Tom played instruments until he stumbled upon electronic music, turntables, and sampling, sparking his love for techno – a rebellion against his classical upbringing. “I’d listen to a bit of UK hardcore, jungle, and then when I first heard techno, it totally blew my mind. It sounded so obnoxious, alien, yet futuristic,” he recalls. 

Living in a town without a record shop, they survived on tape packs and radio recordings. With barely a music scene to be found, Tom started throwing parties for his mates in a local pub and later hauled sound systems into quarries and secluded forests in the Welsh wilderness. 

Eight-year-old Ed absorbed his older brother’s beats and basslines, even pinching his records when Tom wasn’t around. “I picked up on anything that I could hear from the walls of Tom’s bedroom, hearing these mad beats and bass lines. Then I got some got some turntables, we didn’t have any money to buy records, so I’d just go in and steal records from Tom’s room… essentially feeding off whatever Tom had been buying. And then, at the dawn of platforms like LimeWire, I completely bricked the computer by just downloading everything I could.”

Their musical paths initially veered in different directions – Tom in techno, Ed in dubstep – but both eventually hit roadblocks in their individual pursuits. Enter Overmono, born after soaking in a rejuvenating ambient gig at the South Bank in London – a complete sonic cleanse, they reminisce – prompting them to craft music together.

“We didn’t set off with any preconceptions to write some music and come up with a project. We were both feeling a bit bored with our solo careers and the music we were doing at the time. So, we thought, why not just try making music together and see what happens,” remembers Tom.

Renting a cottage in rural Wales near where they grew up, the duo let loose, creating tracks unburned by expectations. The result? A cohesive collection reflecting both musicians, leading them to fully embrace the partnership and name themselves after Overmonnow, a Monmouth suburb.

“It just flowed out so quickly; we were basically writing non-stop. After listening to it, it sounded much more cohesive than we expected. It didn’t really sound like either of us individually, but you can hear both of us in it,” Ed says.

Their success as Overmono can be credited to their humble musical upbringing, free from genre or scene constraints. The ever-curious duo builds their sound on what excites them at the moment, embracing constant experimentation.

Tom explains: “Growing up in a place that has a very defined scene, especially in the UK, makes you naturally want to contribute and create within the existing parameters. Where we grew up, there was no scene, no concept of genres. Looking back, that innocence or naivety is something that’s quite special. It shaped our music tastes, and that’s an attitude we try to take into the studio with us—absolute freedom and the excitement of discovery.”

Fast forward to 2023, the creative alchemy found in Good Lies has propelled Overmono to stake a claim alongside renowned electronic music acts like Burial, Four Tet, and The Chemical Brothers. Intentionally, they once again swerve away from any current dance music trends.

“A lot of the stuff we listen to is quite far removed from the current thing. It’s important for us to feel a bit disconnected from things. It makes it easier to find our own sound,” Ed insists.

Overmono’s Good Lies is out now via XL Recordings.

Overmono New Zealand/Australian Tour Dates