Montag – Alone, Not Alone

Alone, Not Alone

Score another one for Canada! It certainly seems that in the past couple of years our neighbors to the north have had an abundance of wonderful exports, including Godspeed You Black Emperor, Broken Social Scene, Stars, A Silver Mt. Zion, and Arcade Fire. We can now count Montag amongst this list, as I’m sure that as soon as this record sees the light of store shelves it will be met with the same enthusiasm that I’ve felt when listening to it in the last week. In fact, many musicians from the aforefmentioned bands/groups have made guest appearances on Alone, Not Alone. The list is far too long to try and recount here, but if you buy this record (and you should) you can see for yourself. Apparently the title refers to the fact that Montag is actually just one guy, Antoine Bedard, who wrote and recorded the majority of these tracks by himself and then had these guests come and add their own character to them.

Alone, Not Alone begins with the sounds of tinkling bells and some light electronics, which bleed into the first song. A majority of the song titles are in French, but the lyrics are in English for the most part. Montag employs a plethora of different instruments in the mix, much like Broken Social Scene, although it refrains from ever rocking out the way that BSS does. Montag uses these sounds to help further a breezy pop sound not unlike bands such as Stereolab (minus the funk) or dreampop wunderkinds Mahogany. Bedard and different female vocalists trade off verses in a way that complement each other perfectly. The band’s electronic elements are similar to Lali Puna’s clicking cut-and-paste sound or a more melodic counterpart to Autechre.

Fans of the Canadian scene should embrace this record, as it is just as good as anything by Stars or Broken Social Scene. It doesn’t rock out, though, so if you want something like that then you may want to stick with the aforementioned bands. Montag is further proof that a good songwriter need not have a band to make a full-sounding record. There isn’t anything new or innovative about this record in the grand scheme of things, but overall it is a very enjoyable listen if you just want to kick back.