Meet the Band: Stray Monroe

There’s a phenomenon in the music industry that has yet to be defined.

I would argue, in fact, that it is undefinable. Indescribable. Ineffable.

It’s the feeling of being 20 minutes into your commute when you hear a song on the radio you’ve never heard before, and your gut tells you “Hey, this is *insert band name here*!”

It’s the feeling of listening to a new playlist, hearing a song, and saying, “Hey this sounds just like *insert band name here*!”

What is that feeling? What is it about that song, that sound, that feeling the song gives you, that immediately tells you who sings it?

Personally, I refer to it as “the voice” of the song.

It’s not necessarily the singer’s voice, but rather the voice the band has when it comes together. It’s the entity the band becomes when they’re on stage or in their studio.

The sound you hear—the sound specific only to that band—is the voice of that entity speaking to you.

The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, The Who—they all have the voice, but I’m going to take a bold step forward and add another band to that list: Stray Monroe.

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Blake Imperl, Photography by Joey Reams

What are they?

“We are a Swiss Army Knife of a band,” says Brett Kelly.

All from different cities, coming together to create, perform, and give life to their music, Stray Monroe has truly succeeded in combining the best of everyone’s skills and personalities. They get their mojo from the music legends Kings of Leon, The Strokes, and Oasis, while still establishing and strengthening their own voice.

Their newly released EP album, “Momentary Vertigo,” was performed at the 710 Beach Club recently and is now on Spotify, YouTube, and CD (if you catch them at their next show)!

Momentary Vertigo explores themes of isolation, getting old, and the fear of the unknown, all told through the eyes of someone trying to find their place in the world.”

“Drawing influences from The Strokes, Oasis, and The Beatles, this EP signals a shift in the band’s sound. Momentary Vertigo will have you reminiscing on the times when life was simple and care-free.”

Who are they?

Stray Monroe is a band of solidly rooted rock-stars-in-the-making.

The lead singer, Blake Imperl, knocks any competition clear out of the water with his spot-on vocals and lost-in-the-music facial expressions. And let’s not forget to mention the rock star mane that so effortlessly shakes in rhythm with every song. Just look at it:


Colin Croft, the drummer, holds the whole band in his hands. His rhythm, style, and wild-child drumming skills fit into Stray Monroe like an oddly shaped hand fits into a custom-made glove—surprisingly and effortlessly.

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The bassist, Brett Kelly, is a natural on stage with his contagious energy and his ability to capture the crowd.


Where are they going?

These guys are going places. They have the voice, they have the style, they have the cohesiveness to go big, and nothing is stopping them.

One day soon, you’ll be 20 minutes into your commute, listening to the radio, and a new song will come on. It’ll be strangely familiar, it’ll be on the tip of your tongue, and you’ll be able to say…

“Hey, this is Stray Monroe!” 

Catch them at any of their next shows (or all, like I will be):

  • SATURDAY, April 7, 2018 @ The Boiler Room in Temecula, CA
  • SUNDAY, April 8, 2018 @ The Casbah in San Diego, CA
  • FRIDAY, April 13, 2018 @ Quadchella in Mission Viejo, CA
  • SATURDAY, April 14, 2018 @ M-Theory Records in San Diego, CA
  • SATURDAY, May 19, 2018 @ WE Fest in San Diego, CA

If you guys know of any local San Diego bands, musicians, or singers that deserve to be recognized, comment below or email me at My three qualifications for featuring an artist are:

  1. They must be a local band from San Diego.
  2. I must see them live.
  3. I must be able to talk to them either in person or over email/phone.

Until next time,

Stay Rockin’, Stay Rollin’, Stay Local.

-Lauren Detreville-

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