Instantly falling in love with music gets harder and harder. At least for me. When you listen to music as a job, it can get more difficult to hear something and like it from the get go. But sometimes, just sometimes, there’s an exception. And in my case, it was when I first heard the London-based band Montrell play live.
It was a quieter night, Sunday evening in my local Irish pub. And after waiting and waiting, the band finally got on stage and started their set. A few moments into their first song, I was hooked. I’ve seen many gigs over the years but somehow this time it was different. Their songs were catchy but still evoked emotion. The stage wasn’t the biggest, yet the whole set up and band dynamic just clicked. I couldn’t stop listening and watching.
During their (in my opinion – far too short) show, they played old but also new songs. New songs from their just recently released EP, The Lemon. It’s the second EP out for Montrell – having debuted their first EP, Animal in 2018.
The EP consists of four neatly arranged songs that easily flow into each other when listened back-to-back. For those that have been following Montrell, you might recognise two of the tracks. Both ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Baby’ have been previously been released as singles.
So let’s get started with track number one: ‘Glow‘. Upbeat, energetic, spacey, and with late ’60s psychedelic vibes, it’s a truly a great track to kickstart the EP off.
It’s followed by the track ‘Aqua.’ This song literally makes you feel like you’ve dived straight into cool lake on a hot summer’s day (also the brief pause around 2:30 really underlines that imagery some more). A song penned as a poem to an anxious lover, the phased guitars create this reassuring contrast which in turn makes the track rather calming.
Third track, ‘Aeroplane‘ is probably the key song on the EP. Inspired by the album In Utero by Nirvana, as well as Steely Dan, it’s also the track that’s given the EP its name (derived from the lyrics, “We’re all just lemons on a large spinning ball”). The lemon artwork was done by Luca Bowles, who also created the animation behind the music video to ‘Aeroplane’.
And last, but not least – my personal favourite track on the EP – ‘Don’t Stop Me Baby‘. A track that not only works beautifully as a studio track, but really shows its magic when heard live. The lyrics have an edge of frustration to them but the music turns it around and creates something contrastingly warm and reassuring. Also – be prepared to have the chorus constantly spinning around in your head. It’s kind of catchy. And for all you Flyte fans out there – producer on this track was Flyte drummer, Jon Supran.
Compared to their first EP, which was more toned down and quieter, The Lemon EP brings out a louder, brighter side to the band. That being said, they have gone through a few member changes over the years – their most recent being, Michael Kurtz. But this all has developed and broadened their musical spectrum. It’s exciting, and leaves you wondering what the band will do next.
Montrell’s The Lemon EP is out via Panther Records – available to Stream/Purchase here.