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tunesday – a chinwag with montgomery

tunesday – a chinwag with montgomery

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The talented muso talks vacuum cleaners, New Order and taking up a tonne of crafty hobbies.

Melbourne singer, songwriter and producer Montgomery has dropped her awaited sophomore EP, Opal 67, eight years after releasing her debut, New Clear War. Ahead of her upcoming EP launch in Richmond this month, we chatted to the artist about making the dreamy album.

What’s the story behind the album title? I sound like a maniac when I try to explain this, but I was aiming for a classic product name. The only examples I can think of right now are vacuums, like the ‘Glide 300’, but I wanted to make a point that releasing music to the world like this feels like putting out a product. That idea is something I was struggling with for years.

Which track from Opal 67 is your favourite? “Postcard”. I really enjoyed the process of writing and recording that song and there isn’t anything I would change about it, which is an extremely rare way for me to feel. I wasn’t writing this song with any purpose, as the EP was already finished, but it became a last-minute addition. “Postcard” came about while I was jamming with a new toy – the Korg Super Drums. I love the lo-fi sound that machine produces and it creates a nice contrast against the warm synths that swim throughout the track. Lyrically, this song was important for me to write as an exercise in processing a death. It’s about trying to understand where we actually go when that time comes and it felt fitting for the themes Opal 67 explores.

Any fun facts about yourself? When I was 11, I played guitar and sang in a band called Dark Ace with my Dad. We recorded a single to CD and played shows. We were the ultimate cringe band but I love those memories.

Who is your dream artist to collaborate with? New Order. They’ve remained so influential throughout the last four decades. They are iconic.

What influences have shaped your sound? Genres like shoe gaze, electro and indie-pop. The artists who inspire me most are those who genuinely make me feel something, like Wolf Alice or Beach House. That’s the music and the effect I dream of creating.

Which aspect of creating Opal 67 have you enjoyed more – writing or producing? I really enjoyed the process of producing for this EP, including having Hamish Patrick and Gab Strum co-produce for some songs. It was important to me to take that role because I want my music to be honest and a true reflection of what I’m feeling or trying to say. I express that through the instrumentation just as much as (if not more than) the lyrics. 

What’s your next musical goal? Hopefully it'll be that New Order collab (come through!). I’m really sick of sitting at home watching venues close down, so I really want to get out and play shows around the country. I’m also looking at jumping into some sessions, writing and producing for other artists.

What do you get up to when you’re not making music? Over the last two years I’ve become a big hobby-hoarder. I need an outlet for creativity but it can’t always be music, otherwise I burn out. So, I started embroidery, making earrings and polymer clay rings and up-cycling old clothes. I’m also really enjoying drawing right now. I recently started a comic strip and I’m always drawing little things to tattoo on myself or friends. Collaging also became a big pastime during lockdown. I was picking and pressing little flowers, getting photos developed, cutting out my own drawings and using bead arrangements and stickers.