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Melbourne’s Montgomery takes us inside her new EP ‘Opal 67’

We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Montgomery and dive into her new record 'Opal 67'.

On her sophomore EP Opal 67, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Montgomery weaves intimate, dreamy synth-pop soundscapes that provide the perfect soundtrack for dancefloor reflections.

Covering themes of love, loss, acceptance, and hope across its six tracks, it may have been a long time coming, but the wait for the second slice of Montgomery’s sonic catalogue is well and truly worth it.

Now creating music in her home studio in Melbourne, Montgomery’s musical journey started on Queensland’s Gold Coast where, at age 6, she’d spend her time switching between playing the electric organ and her Yamaha keyboard. A far cry from the intimate, vulnerable storytelling and coming-of-age-film-score worthy soundscapes she is crafting today.

With her debut EP New Clear War in hand, Montgomery’s brooding, emotive take on pop music saw her turning heads and taking over stages around the country. The record – which featured her debut single ‘Pinata’ – saw her name attached to all the expected labels like ‘artist to watch’ and ‘next big thing’, but after some touring, Montgomery went largely quiet.

Then five years later, in late 2019, she returned with ‘Sure’ – a single that revived all the promise first laid out and reminded listeners why Montgomery was first slated as a force of Aussie pop music. Since then, the singles have continued with two stand-alone tracks in 2020, before 2021 gave us the first two tastes of this new Montgomery chapter in ‘Close To Being Apart’ and ‘Lavender Haze’.

Now, eight years after her debut EP, Montgomery’s long-awaited follow-up is sure to take her to new, even greater, heights.

Her music has received support from tastemakers, critics and fans around the country including triple j, MTV Australia, the AU Review, The Music, FBi Radio, Edge Radio, Radio Adelaide, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more.

She has toured nationally with Japanese Wallpaper and recently performed alongside MAY-A and Lontalius, and with her new EP in hand, we hope to see her on more stages soon.

Opal 67 is a dramatic retelling of the interpersonal connections I’ve made and lost while trying to navigate through adulthood. The themes found within these tracks are those of love, loss, acceptance and hope.
I’ve been wanting to release this EP for what feels like a very long time and after spending two years at home writing and recording alone in my studio, while also working remotely with my friends Hamish Patrick and Gab Strum on co-production for a few tracks and Sam Sproull on mixing and mastering, it’s made this release feel particularly intimate which is something I value in the art I consume.

Montgomery on her new EP Opal 67

To celebrate the release of Montgomery’s new EP, we sat down with the producer and singer-songwriter to take us on a deep dive through Opal 67.

Check out Opal 67 by Montgomery:

Track-by-Track: Take a deep dive into Montgomery’s Opal 67:

Thinking About You

Montgomery: “I had a little studio set up in a storage shed complex that closed at 9pm each night, which was actually very inconvenient considering how much I love late night writing.

“I was in there one night writing ‘Thinking About You’ and I had the idea that I’d go back the next day when I’d have more time and add more to the song, especially some drums and more rhythm as it was just vocals and ambient pads. I never ended up doing that because every time I tried, the song lost its emotion. I think it’s the perfect opening track for this EP as it sets a scene for the themes that Opal 67 explores.”

Close To Being Apart

Montgomery – Close To Being Apart (Official Video)

“‘Close To Being Apart’ was written when I’d just moved house (and finally got a studio without a 9pm close time) and was feeling the weight of a chapter closing and a new one opening. I found myself reminiscing, holding on to sentiment, while another part of me was desperate to move on.

“‘Close To Being Apart’ acknowledges that tension of wanting to move forward or change direction, while still clinging to old memories. Even those I’d proudly thought I‘d already let go of.”

Two Minds

“This is the first song I wrote for the EP and at the time was the closest thing to a love song that I’d written. I was in the peak of falling for someone. We were still in that ‘unspoken’ stage where I wasn’t sure what we meant to each other.

“In trying to figure out how they felt, I was also struggling to understand exactly what I was feeling and wanting. I was in two minds about it all, because nothing made me feel worse than that vulnerability. The name ‘Two Minds’ really speaks for itself.”

Stranger’s Garden

“This is unapologetically a break-up song, but one written in retrospect. I really enjoyed writing it, looking into how I reacted to a certain time and situation and embodying that version of myself to create something that, in return, gave me more closure. That is the gift of writing.”

Postcard

“I started writing ‘Postcard’ after picking up a Korg Superdrums drum machine, which is featured as the driving beat throughout this song. I thought I had finished the EP and was just playing around one night, having a jam with my new machine, but I had one line in my head “Whistle in the dark, I wonder where you are,” which to me felt like calling out to someone you know isn’t there and not really understanding the concept that they’re completely gone.

“I think this was how I’d been processing the death of someone who I only knew as ‘being there’ my whole life. I ended up getting the song mixed and mastered as a late addition to the EP and now it’s probably my favourite song.”

Lavender Haze

“There’s a line in Mad Men where Don Draper’s talking about Betty and someone says ‘You’re in the Lavender Haze.’ That was the first time I’d heard that phrase and immediately wanted to write a song for that title.

“‘Lavender Haze’ kind of feels like a follow-up to ‘Two Minds’ but it felt right being the final track of the EP, because for me there’s a sense of closure in this song. ‘I don’t know what happened to me’ admits that I’ve fallen for someone and acknowledges it rather than trying to run from it.”

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