Montauk is a project that brings listeners the classic warmth and emotional strength of pop-rock with heart. Beginning with the brilliantly crafted Doom Dust, the music pours through with familiarity, skill, passion and power – increasing the energy when necessary but leaning back on that acoustic rawness every once in a while to keep it all very real and relatable.
Doom Dust’s hook is huge, wonderful and uplifting, hopeful, and inspiring to have play for you. The concept is where things get interesting, you start to form an understanding of the songwriting and the perspective, and the rest of the album fills in more of the gaps and makes for an easily enjoyable hour of listening.
This album presents audiences with hit after hit after indie anthem, loaded with equal parts delicacy and weight, weaving around you colourful riffs and melodies and lyrical concepts, all honest and genuine sounding. The leading vocals and the lyrics present a unique thread that reminds you consistently of the artist and the fresh look of it all.
Fall In Love showcases a more clear-cut, scene-setting bit of story-telling. The development of the melody is beautiful, the soundscape is softer so the voices shine brightly. That emotional core steps a little further into your life, and this is still just the beginning. Hanging Baskets softens things further, acoustic guitars and a mellow piano drive the ambiance, the melody is whispered to you – intertwined with poetic thoughts on life and a questioning, inclusive aura. Quite quickly this whole album starts to appear as something of a hidden gem, a Best Of or Greatest Hits style of collection.
Welcome To You is a personal favourite, a beautiful song, stunning even – the set-up is energizing and wonderful from a musical perspective, then you get the lyrics, the concept. The appreciation and again the togetherness, the values – all of this just feels like it means something very real and important. As the track progresses, the music evolves and brightens even further. An incredible song and very easy to play on repeat before you go any further.
Elsewhere on the album, musical eclecticism stands tall. Heart Attack switches things up a few notches, veering off down a stylishly funk-rock route that sees the artist’s leading vocal delivery appear with more grit and swagger and confidence. The song has a great groove about it. Osidius (Just a Girl) afterwards hits with impact as its spacious and gentle soundscape and vocal harmonies first emerge. The rock and roll weight that comes in later hits even harder due to this temporary break. At every step, the songwriting is intriguing and clever and notably real. The ideas are relatable, but expressed in a refreshing, interesting way.
Love For Sale takes on a classic rock and roll vibe, complete with rising intensity and seductive, distorted guitar solos. Eternal Sunshine follows and contrast is further utilized so that the softness here, the retro key sound and the whispered voice, captures your attention from the offset. The song speaks of heartbreak and lays out the scene in a detailed, easy to envision manner. Even within this, a seemingly clear-cut bit of writing, there are still lines that take you aback a little. The poetry and the insight is always impressive and new, and it’s well integrated within a widely accessible aura that feels familiar and easy to get into. Draw them over with what they know and understand, keep them there with fascinating ideas and thoughtfulness. This song is emotionally honest to a huge degree, the two vocals compliment one another beautifully.
The album’s title track is one of the most memorable of the collection. The acoustic guitar works well to keep your focus on the leading voice and the lyrics, which are brilliantly captivating. As things progress – the hook is on point, and the whole thing grows more and more effective in letting you escape into the moment. Tell The Fool follows and drives with smooth, entrancing guitar work and a free flowing, almost jazz-like vibe. This grows to be more of an Ocean Colour Scene sort of song, though with the rock grit of a power ballad, and even more of the superb writing that makes this project so special.
As stated earlier, this album has distinct threads, but it’s also impressively eclectic. I Won’t Want to Wake Up With You, in example, brings through more of the funk, a bit of a country vibe in some respects, and a fast-paced melody that leans back and forth between hip hop and pop, essentially being its own thing entirely.
Dance With The Devil follows and brings the project to colorful and vibrant finish. There’s a reggae mood to the rhythm, the concept deals a little with personal turmoil and stays as reflective as ever. The song in full feels hopeful, grateful, encouraging you to appreciate the little things and the bright side of life – whilst being fully away of the darker parts or difficulties. The chorus is heavy and has a Brit-pop, anthemic feel. A great way to go out and a bold reminder to go back and listen through all of these songs again. Fantastic writing and the arrangement and musicianship are forever interesting and skillfully presented.