To cop a line from Walt Whitman - Laura contains multitudes. To wit: Laura Monzo is warm, funny, sunny and sweet, while still possessing a deep and immense soul that seems far older than her 24 years. She's quirky and artistic. She's spiritual yet firmly centered in the here-and-now. She's impossibly freckly.... On her upcoming debut album, Manic, Laura harmonizes these disparate sides of her personality in a collection of phenomenally catchy and preternaturally assured rock n' roll songs. They're songs that she's honed over years of trudging through the Jersey shore and New York City club and coffeehouse scenes. Take "Romance," a sweet, sultry, laid-back rocker with shades of the better parts of Jewel's back catalogue. Or the radio-ready pop of "This to That," her hilarious Katy-Perry-esque salvo in the perennial war between blondes and brunettes. There's "Fall," a bittersweet encomium to the tortures of love that will never be, with a grand chorus that mixes a sweeping sadness with a melancholic echo of hope. (If you only hear one chorus this year, make it this one!) And there's "Manic," a burst of feverish rock and roll energy that captures Laura's own self-diagnosis of her personality. To bring the songs to life she's assembled a backing band of talented veterans that includes Chris Dargis, Alex Dee, and the best bass player Laura knows - Wayne Monzo, her father. Through dozens of gigs at nationally-known venues like Maxwell's, the Stone Pony and the Saint, the band has gelled into a tight, fluid, and surprisingly loud and rocking unit. The end result is female-fronted rock and pop music at it's best. Likeable at first listen, beguiling at the second, and utterly fall-in-love-withable after that, Laura's catchy songs have that rare ability to become indelible accompaniments to her fans' daily emotional lives. And throughout this manic mess of clever rhymes, soaring choruses, delicate beauty and balls-to-the-wall rockers come the contradictions and conflicts that define Laura Monzo. Daddy's little girl / heartbreaker sex kitten. Cooler-than-you rocker chick / wide-eyed spiritual dreamer. Girl next door / don't even think about it - your neighborhood isn't this talented. To bring it back to Whitman: Does she contradict herself? Very well, then she contradicts herself. And she contradicts herself very well indeed.