Album reviews

Montaigne – Glorious Heights (in name, and in reality) released today!!!

Jessica Cerro {Montaigne} — musician extraordinaire

After decades — pardon the massive hyperbole 😉 — of waiting, Glorious Heights has arrived!

The soaring textured vocals of Jess Cerro, the playful piano solos, the passion injected into everything she does…

I’m a bit speechless, as I’m currently recalling how moved I was when I first listened to Glorious Heights.

How to put it into words…

Did you ever see that TV commercial, something to do with the sensation of feeling like you’re standing on top of a mountain?
Well, when you listen to this — my pick for ALBUM OF THE YEAR, just quietly — brace yourself for the trek and for the feeling of liberation when you reach the peak.

I don’t mind admitting: I’ve been peeing myself in anticipation for this day, pretty much since I first heard Montaigne’s ‘I Am Not An End’ when she was Unearthed by Triple J two years ago.

My fandom doubled, tripled and quadrupled with every one of her single releases since then.
Not to mention her collaboration with Hilltop Hoods, her relentless touring, and her chipper, charismatic disposition during interviews and on stage…

I kinda want to be her best friend! 😛

Seriously though: I have closely followed Jess’s progress since she first hit the Triple J airwaves. As such, I am very very excited for the release of Glorious Heights and I invite you all to check her out! Her tunes are relatable, exhilarating, and cathartic.

Check out my review of Glorious Heights, including a couple of her clips for your listening pleasure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time I researched tour dates… 

Album reviews

River Becomes Ocean – “December EP” review

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Five piece Brighton, UK, alternative rockers, River Becomes Ocean, have offered up their second EP, December — five tidy tracks, packed with personality and passion.

River Becomes Ocean consists of Marvin McMahon on lead vocals and piano, Danny Snow on backing vocals and guitars, Ben Bartup on guitars, and Dorian Neidhardt on drums. They compliment each other perfectly, and use many surprising elemental snippets throughout their tracks culminating in imposing walls of sound in which to lose oneself.

Their sound has been compared to fellow British rockers Bring Me The Horizon. It is a fair comparison, but don’t be fooled: River Becomes Ocean have developed their own signature sound and one day, newer artists will be compared to them.

December tells the tale of a rocky, tumultuous relationship between two people wearing rose colored glasses; not so much about each other, but more about the world around them.

Opener ‘We Will’ begins with ethereal tones and harmonising, and launches into punishing vocals and thrashing drum beats. There is a sense of getting lost, and found again, with someone, while desperately avoiding reality: “Tonight, we make this world our own.”

It is all about going on a journey with someone, but being determined to come out at the other end with this person. The chanting of “No one can ever stop us now” enhances the sense of immortality the two lovers must be feeling. There is a light violin solo right before the end build, only adding to the multiple contrasts between soft and hard, dark and light, all crammed in under four minutes.

‘Lies’ begins with a synth soundscape, lulling us into a false sense of calm and order, as do the opening lines: “Come take a seat and have a drink with me / you can tell me how you really feel.” But this poor, tortured man has already made up his mind: he knows his relationship is a lost cause, he is done with hurting and heartache, and keeping his life on hold. Staccato drum and cymbal taps add to the turmoil he is feeling. You have to strain to hear the guitars on this track, as they have been pushed way into the background, seemingly to give an air of rationality to the decision to end the relationship.

‘Seven’ is loaded with catchy ripping guitar riffs and more ethereal chanting, which is suddenly overtaken by screaming, hoarse vocals: “This heartache is over / this weight’s off my shoulder.” Neidhardt’s rapid drumming is the hero of this track, never missing a beat. It tells of jaded emotions and a love gone sour. The addition of a child singing adds a strange paradox to the guttural instrumentals and dark subject matter, including the imagery of pulling multiple knives out of your back.

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(Read it in full right here)