ANNOUNCING SUFFUSE - PRE-ORDER LP/CD, out 8/17 VIA GRAPEFRUIT RECORD CLUB
(SPECIAL EDITION INCLUDES BONUS refuse LP, LIMITED TO 70 COPIES)
"New Zealand guitarist Roy Montgomery has been involved with so much vital music that it’s hard to believe he’s spent most of his life not making any at all." - Pitchfork
"ROY MONTGOMERY'S MUSIC IS LIKE SWIMMING THROUGH PHANTOMS, EACH ENTITY A HAUNTING, ILLUMINATING NEW SPECTRAL PHASE." - NPR
Despite praise and acclaim throughout his career, Roy Montgomery hates his singing. From his point of view, it’s done out of necessity, when he doesn’t have anyone else around to substitute. So it goes, when you live on the side of a mountain just outside Christchurch, New Zealand’s rehabilitating city center. Roughly one quarter of Montgomery’s epic multi-album 2016 release R M H Q had his singing, and those are his least favorite tracks.
We’ve been doing the best we can to argue that his basso undertones are the center of his appeal throughout his entire body of work, from the first The Pin Group single on Flying Nun in 1981, through his work in Dadamah, Dissolve and on to his legendary ‘90s solo releases. Without his thick layer of Ian-Curtis-from-the-Isles singing, many of his songs would lose their humanity and power. He no doubt senses that, since his sporadic bursts of music writing mixes in his vocals.
Is it a surprise he jumped when the idea of composing an album for other vocalists came up? The idea began as a series of alternate takes of the material on Tropic Of Anodyne, the tracks with vocals off his last release. That concept morphed into assembling vocalists to sing on new songs, and he conceived instrumental material that would fit each singer. Half of the songs came together, resulting in Suffuse. The album charts a slow progression from those who share similarities with Montgomery’s rumbling vocal technique to those who come at singing differently, with minute contrasts throughout. Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux) and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees) bring the first two tracks, with Larrabee’s low-riding lament complementing Fohr’s stinging vibrato. Katie Von Schleicher’s “Outsider Love Ballad” is a raw expression of emotional loss, while the sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon (Purple Pilgrims) express that emptiness by stripping away words, weaving their voices together through Montgomery’s elastic webbing. Julianna Barwick adds drive and nuance to the foamy sonic waves of “Sigma Octantis,” as “Landfall” crashes in slow motion chaos over Liz Harris’ (Grouper) multi-tracked layers. Montgomery wrote lyrics for the first three, and left the other three to their leads’ devices.
Regarding Suffuse, Montgomery says, “I continue to find it humbling listening back to the tracks, both for the beauty and intensity of the voices, and for the sheer professionalism. They actually sound like real songs.” These compositions generously embrace their guest leaders, and for the first time in his career, Roy Montgomery has made a cogent artistic argument as to why he shouldn’t be singing these songs himself.
Roy montgomery: RMHQ
Released October 21, 2016, R M H Q is four distinct albums conceived and recorded over a very short period, each of them carrying a distinct focus and mood.
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R: Tropic of Anodyne Tracklist
1. Tropic of Anodyne
2. Dear Future Loser
3. You Always Get What You Deserve
4. I Was A Distant Star
5. Seven Faded Dreams
6. If And Only If
7. Hanging Melody
8. As The Sun Sets
M: Darkmotif Dancehall Tracklist
1. Rough Take-Off
2. 10538 Overdrive
3. Little Big Star
4. Dazed Pig Dreamhome Slide
5. At The Gogol Au Go Go (for Natstya Terekhova)
6. Six Guitar Salute To Peter Gutteridge
7. Making Love In A Blast Furnace
8. Slow Heroes
9. Rough Landing
H: Bender Tracklist
1. Ten Beers With Five Beers At Two Guns, Arizona
2. I.O.U. Otto
4. And Later We Looked Up At The Stars
5. A Guitar Called Boomslang
6. Another David Lynch Thanks, No Ice
7. Chasing Monica Vitti
8. Cocktails With Can
Q: Transient Global Amnesia Tracklist
3. Last Alarm (for Brad Fletcher)
5. Weathering Mortality (feat. Emma Johnston)