Montauk is a pop, rock, and everything in between band, led by songwriter and lead vocalist Drew Richardson. Ready to drop their debut self-titled album, ‘Montauk’ in November 2018, this project is starting off with a serious bang.
Based in the UK and the internet, Montauk is a band of the digital age: Drew worked together, face-to-face, with producer and guitarist Tom Jobling, female vocalist Rebecca Chambers and drummer Sam West, while the rest of the band – guitarist Jon Wright and drummer Max Saidi – played their parts online from their respective UK locations.
Drew is the dreamer and the driving force of this project. An avid life-long music lover, legend has it he penned his first complete song by age seven (after some lessons on guitar). After many years as a “bedroom singer-songwriter”, as he puts it, his music is finally seeing the light of day – and you can immediately tell that those years were well spent. The musicality of Montauk is phenomenal; very few bands roll out of the gate with truly excellent material like this.
Montauk (the album) is inspired by the 2004 film ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and Montauk (the band) takes its name from the film too – Montauk being an integral location in it. Drew is “fascinated by the idea of nostalgia and memory, and the places that host emotionally significant events in our lives” – and Eternal Sunshine addresses these concepts. (It toys with the consequences of changing or erasing life’s important events – if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch.) A true concept album, Montauk takes you on a journey through the ups and the downs, and the twists and the turns.
The stand out title track, ‘Take Him To Montauk’ is irresistibly catchy with perfectly complementary guitar and vocal hooks that push everything forward, ‘Welcome To You’ is a chill, earnest pop-ballad, and ‘Heart Attack’ is a get-up-and go funk track that almost sounds a cross between Elton John and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in the best possible way. Words don’t do this album justice – the collection is hugely varied in style but somehow perfectly cohesive, tied together in narrative, production and (of course) Drew’s vocals. The lyrics have real integrity, always telling a story, “This is the place I come to forget; here all the trials of life are reset.” From piano and guitar ballads to pop anthems, beautiful orchestral arrangements, straight-up funk, and a (almost heavy) rock track, the versatility of not only the band, but of Drew’s songwriting is showcased. He simply says, “whatever the style, melody is king for me”.
Going forward, the band have a second album that’s nearly complete – and, even without the Eternal Sunshine theme, nostalgia and the passing of time will always play a part in Drew’s writing. Aside from ‘Montauk’, he’s also focused on writing songs for other artists, saying “success as a writer is more important to me than success as an artist” (he’s, quite obviously, a true lover of music over the music scene).
Montauk have absolutely outdone themselves on this album. Go and listen to it come November – you won’t be disappointed.
Hayley McKinney - Writer and Editor