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Montero — Performer (2 Feb. 2018)

Montero — Performer (2 Feb. 2018)

                          Montero — Performer (2 feb. 2018)   Montero — Performer (2 feb. 2018)•♠•       Performer glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. Montero’s music evokes the extended soundscapes and textures of 70s prog, the easy listening adult weirdness of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, and the sports arena pounding of vintage MOR rock — sometimes all in the space of one song.
•♠•       Lush soft rock, synth pop, and neo~psychedelia project from Melbourne musician Ben Montero.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia ~ Athens, Greece
Album release: February 2, 2018)
Record Label: Chapter Music
Duration:     43:16
Tracks:
01. Montero Airlines     5:03
02. Aloha     4:09
03. Caught Up In My Own World     4:30
04. Running Race     2:28
05. Performer     5:02
06. Quantify     3:58
07. Vibrations     4:17
08. Tokin’ The Night Away     4:08
09. Destiny     5:12
10. Pilot     4:29
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger;  Score: ***½
•♠•       Under the banner of Montero, Australian musician and visual artist Ben Montero creates an eccentric amalgam of laid~back psychedelia, lush synth pop, and vintage soft rock, presented with both a wry smile and some genuine warmth. A smattering of independent singles preceded his 2013 full~length debut, The Loving Gaze, as did his involvement in a host of jangly lo~fi acts like Treetops, Holiday Maker, and later, Early Woman. While his fondness for collaborations remains an element of Montero, this project is ultimately a declaration of self, offered here on his sophomore release, Performer, with a fully realized visual aesthetic to accompany his vibrant pop wanderings. In the years between his two LPs, Montero became more widely recognized as a cartoonist and designer, and the wild Technicolor illustrations adorning Performer’s cover mirror the heady music contained within. Recorded at Mark Ronson’s Tileyard Studios in London, there is somewhat of a big pop element to the album’s production, with fellow Aussie Jay Watson (Tame Impala, Pond) and in~house engineer Riccardo Damien on board to help stack the many layers of synths, guitars, and vocals. Acting as both introduction and overture, “Montero Airlines” sets the tone and establishes what seems to be Montero’s predominant mode of borderline whimsical midtempo rock balladry in the vein of masters like the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, and Electric Light Orchestra. Only a handful of tracks diverge from this stylistic construction (the thudding dark synth pop of “Quantify” and the sprightly ‘70s pop of “Destiny”), but to his credit, he’s got it down pat and delivers some real gems in the Lennon~esque “Caught Up in My Own World” and the excellent “Running Race,” which sports a winsome melody worthy of an early Bee Gees single. The mighty “Vibrations” captures the thick ELO filter and is another solid song to boot. There are some missteps like the clunky and far too long “Tokin’ the Night Away,” but overall, Performer is quite a lot of fun and an aural delight for aficionados of classic ‘60s and ‘70s pop with an experimental indie twist.
Also:
von Frank Sawatzki, 02. Februar 2018 / Score: ****½/6
→    https://www.musikexpress.de/reviews/montero-performer/
Description:
★>     First 100 physical pre~orders through our webstore or Bandcamp come with a limited edition mini colouring book of drawings by Ben Montero.
★>     Montero is Australian musician and artist Ben Montero.
★>     New album Performer was recorded at Mark Ronson’s Tileyard studios in London. It is co~produced by Ben, Jay Watson of Tame Impala/Pond/Gum, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian. All instruments were played by Ben, Jay and Riccardo, save some violin by Emily, a waitress from the studio cafe, and electric piano from Ben’s uncle Jason.
★>     Performer glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. Montero’s music evokes the extended soundscapes and textures of 70s prog, the easy listening adult weirdness of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, and the sports arena pounding of vintage MOR rock — sometimes all in the space of one song. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder.
★>     As a visual artist, Ben’s much~loved comic~based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. His art has graced album covers, t~shirts and posters for Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others. Ben has lost count of the number of fans who have had his drawings tattooed on their body. His Facebook page Ben Montero Sketchbook has more than 80,000 fans.
★>     In Australia, Montero has played with Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, John Maus, Yeasayer, Sonny & the Sunsets and The Bats.
★>     Ben currently lives in Athens, Greece and his live band are made up of members of Greek psych heads Acid Baby Jesus, plus other friends.
★>     The Montero band tour UK/Europe in November 2017 supporting Mac Demarco.
★>     Montero is sharing a new single from his forthcoming album, Performer, out February 2nd on Chapter Music. The “Running Race” video was created by animator Sean McAnulty who has become a friend of Montero’s over social media. “I saw his claymation work and was blown away by the gorgeous colors and emotions and asked if he would do a clip for me,” explains Montero. “He breathed life into Froggy and friends by showing their struggles against personal darkness. The song takes place in the story of a master’s apprentice isolated in a magical castle.” He continues, “‘Running Race’ is about how life is a sports event set in a cosmic stadium, and that we’re all athletes and performers. Pedaling, running, swimming, leaping and flying to achieve our own idealized beautiful victories against repressive inner forces.”
★>     Montero is Australian artist and musician Ben Montero, who is based variously in Athens, Melbourne, New York, Austin and anywhere else he can lay his hat. As well as being somewhat of an idiosyncratic character and musical mastermind, he is also a visual artist. Ben’s comic~based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. He draws a column for Vice and his art has graced album covers, t-shirts and posters for Mac DeMarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others.
★>     The album Performer was produced by Ben, Jay Watson of Tame Impala/Pond/Gum, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian at Mark Ronson’s Tileyard studios in London. All instruments were played by Ben, Jay and Riccardo, save some violin by Emily, a waitress from the studio cafe, and electric piano from Ben’s uncle Jason.
★>     Descriptions of Performer have stated that it “glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. Montero’s music evokes the extended soundscapes and textures of 70s prog, the easy listening adult weirdness of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, and the sports arena pounding of vintage MOR rock — sometimes all in the space of one song. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder.”
Bandcamp: https://chaptermusic.bandcamp.com/album/performer
Label: https://chaptermusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monteroband/
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Montero — Performer (2 Feb. 2018)

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