Close this search box.

Overmono Is Bigger Than the Sum of its Parts

Brothers Tom and Ed Russell brought their influence from separate UK dance scenes to make their familiar, fabulous debut.

by Daniel McIntosh

Photos by Eliot Morgan

There are certain things that can only be built as a synthesis of fragmented parts. Overmono knows that all too well. The duo—brothers Tom and Ed Russell—brought their respective music careers as Truss and Tessela to a halt in 2016, beginning to release music together under the collective moniker. 

Since emerging with a series of EPs in 2016, paired with their enigmatic aesthetic, Overmono have become festival mainstays with their bright, optimistic pop music bringing together elements of UKG, two-step, and drum and bass. At a time when these electronic subgenres are having a moment in pop music, the duo’s recent output injects joy into their sound, revamping grooves reminiscent of classic techno to propel them into emotional territory that sprawls beyond the dancefloor.

Overmono’s debut album, Good Lies, has been a long time coming. When the brothers first united to create music, both were feeling boxed in by years of divestment, infighting, and adherence to the genre purity of London’s various electronic music scenes. “We realized how tribal a lot of these scenes could be,” says Tom. “How people would identify with a particular scene or genre, and quite fiercely, so that was quite an eye-opener for me.”

Being able to join the allegiances of established London electronic musicians might have been predicted due to coming of age in a musical family, but the sound they chose was a far cry from how either brother grew up in Wales. The Russells’ father was a classical musician, and they naturally grew up surrounded by the sounds of the orchestra. The brothers echo the same sentiment with a laugh: “It was forced onto us whether we liked it or not.”

Tom was the first to independently venture into his own taste, discovering hip-hop from across the pond in America, while their sleepy Welsh town additionally led him down the electronic music rabbit hole. Ed, 10 years his junior, absorbed his first inkling of independent taste through little sibling osmosis: with an ear pressed to a bedroom wall. By the time Ed was 11, the brothers had become obsessed with pressing and exchanging bootleg tapes, soaking up all genres in all formats, and, as Tom confirms, doing so despite the terrible quality they often received it in. It could be anything from UK funk house to American rap, to the toughest techno coming out of Berlin.


Good Lies seemingly follows their childhood crate-digging, folding in familiar grooves that feel instantly recognizable and comfortable. The blend of UK garage, drum’n’bass, and techno on Good Lies should attract the ears of veteran ravers, while simultaneously being accessible and adventurous for newcomers to the scene. Following a series of EPs, Overmono saw their fanbase grow exponentially as they became mainstays in the current era of electronic arts. 

One new pickup is an inflection of hazy downtempo R&B, brought on by a seemingly accidental rejection of the musical backgrounds they came from in favour of absorbing “American R&B and pop” over the two years that they created Good Lies. “It only sort of dawned on me when we nearly finished the album we really shut ourselves off from nearly all music whilst we were writing,” says Tom. “The stuff that we were listening to was like Baby Keem and quite broad U.S. rap stuff like Travis Scott. Just people who just have this proper unbridled sense of creativity in their music. That was the stuff that we were being drawn towards.” 

Other elements were mined by spelunking the depths of Bandcamp and sifting through either brother’s record collection. The melange of genres presented on any Overmono LP is a record of nights, some smoked, some drunk, some sober. In some way, the brothers once again found themselves exchanging tracks as they always had done. This time, however, they traded the distorted cassette tapes for MP3s.

After whittling down their tastes, the brothers describe their creative process as cocooning themselves in nothing. “It helps you see much more clearly. I love listening to music, but I find sometimes when we’re writing, it’s much easier not to listen to music because you can then hear it free from the noise of outside,” says Ed. “You can hear what it is that you want to do.”

Eschewing most modern-day consumers’ algorithmic-based listening habits, the spirit of discovery is a feeling the brothers have tried to restore. As a result, despite having a life of professional musicianship between them, Good Lies feels like an honest-to-God debut for them. Ed says it feels like they’re at the beginning of something. “I think both of us have never felt more creatively locked in,” he says. “I expected to come to the end of the album like the creative well is running dry. It’s the opposite, it’s completely filled up.” On the advent of a landmark debut, Overmono is just getting started.