San Diego-natives almost monday deliver fresh new sounds on ‘only wanna dance’

One of San Diego’s brightest indie rock bands is back with an exciting new single


Photo courtesy of Shane McCauley

almost monday members, featuring: vocalist Dawson Daugherty, bassist Luke Fabry and guitarist Cole Clisby.

by Noah Lyons, Opinion Editor

almost monday is ready to hit the road and play some new tracks along the way, following an electrifying hometown show in San Diego.

The group — consisting of vocalist Dawson Daugherty, bassist Luke Fabry and guitarist Cole Clisby — was initially formed in their college years. Daugherty and Fabry went to Point Loma Nazarene University while Clisby attended University of California, San Diego. The trio also grew up in San Diego county, playing at local surf shops and jamming out in garages.

They released their first EP, “don’t say you’re ordinary” in 2020, followed by 2021’s “till the end of time.” Along the way, their single “sunburn” has racked up over 17 million streams. Now, the band has their eyes set on a third project. 

The most recent piece of that project is their single “only wanna dance” – an irresistibly groovy and upbeat track which, as the title suggests, is sure to get you dancing.

The process of writing their latest single began over a year ago as they put some initial ideas to tape and let it sit for a while. After revisiting their collection of demo tapes, they decided to bring those ideas on stage and perform it on tour. 

Their goal with the track was to energize a crowd with a faster tempo and an emphasis on the drums and guitar. 

“It’s nice to be able to test a lot of our unreleased songs and be able to play them live,” Clisby said. “That’s usually a pretty good gauge on how we think people will like it and how we like it.” 

Audiences responded well, and the track was on its way to being produced.

The accompanying music video for “only wanna dance” is just as fun and frenetic as the song itself. Despite having a runtime of just 153 seconds, this video has it all: retro bowling alleys, horses, alien costumes, cowboy hats and medieval outfits. The band looked back at the filming process fondly.

“There wasn’t any crazy underlying theme to all of it,” Fabry said. “We just wanted to make a fun video with our friends and it kind of turned out to be this chaotic thing that we put together to be the video.”

When creating accompanying music videos, the trio likes to keep things loose and draw on their inspirations. Such is the case for their “til the end of time” music video, in which Daugherty and the rest of the band go on a journey to drop off a box of pizza.

Their primary inspiration for that video: the “Pizza Delivery” episode of Nickelodeon’s hit TV show, “Spongebob.”

“Sometimes, we go around and have spur-of-the moment ideas and shoot,” Clisby said. “That’s the way we like to do things – a lot of spur-of-the-moment, run and gun style turns out with good energy.”

Recently, much of that energy has been devoted to captivating live shows. In the last two years, the band made stops at high-profile music festivals including Lollapalooza, Wonder Bus, Wonderfront and Governor’s Ball. They even went overseas, performing in London, Paris, Korea and Japan in 2022. 

Still, their hometown of San Diego is deeply ingrained in the DNA of almost monday – even if it’s at a subconscious level.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t intentionally get into a session and you’re like, ‘okay, how do we give the people some San Diego,’” Daugherty said. “It’s never an intentional thought, but unintentionally, it makes its way into the music. I think that’s because it’s where we grew up and what inspires us.”

A lot of their inspiration, the band said, is tied into beach culture and surfing. But, there is one piece of subject matter the band may try to avoid, following the consecutive releases of “sunburn” and “sun keeps on shining.” 

“It’s become kind of a meme within our band (that) we just can’t have another sun song, at least in the title,” Daugherty said.

With a new project in the works, almost monday fans can expect more fresh singles, music videos and teasers.

In the meantime, the band is continuing to bring their sunny indie rock sound to shows across the United States – and the globe. 

“Playing shows is probably my favorite thing in the world so I’m really stoked to play at new places and have fun,” Daugherty said. “You make so many memories on the road – it’s such a chaotic, crazy whirlwind of a thing.”