A reflective, poignant and powerful aura surrounds Amy as she delivers a stunning and impassioned vocal performance. Accompanied by a piano and nothing more, and shot in Belfast’s Harty Room at Queens University, ‘Old Photographs’ presents her distinctive voice as she flows in and out of focus, dancing around the soul-stirring atmosphere and filling every ounce of the empty space with an ethereal, captivating sincerity.
Says Amy, “Old Photographs’ is a wave of nostalgia for any listener who allows it to be. This song invites you to reflect on your memories and experiences up to now… to hold them in your hands as if they were grains of sand, then, with acceptance, let them fall through your fingertips and tumble to meet the Earth, pulling you right back to the present, where all memories and experiences are made. We were fortunate enough to be let into the amazing Harty Room at Queen’s University, in the midst of lockdown. Everything was recorded live, right there, right then. My voice bellowed through the walls of what normally would be a bustling university building so in the solitude it was as though time stood still”.
‘Old Photographs’ follows the release of the uplifting ‘Anywhere’, the beautiful cover of Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Jupiter 4’ and the title track from her upcoming EP Intangible, a shimmering work of Nineties-influenced alternative rock with squalls of guitar feedback lifted by bright, fluttering synths and – like most of Montgomery’s work – a showcase of lyrical power.
Mixed by Australian producer Kyran Daniels (Greta Ray), the video for ‘Intangible’ premiered with The Music in Australia where Amy has been making a name for herself following last year’s performance at the Dashville festival, a four date Australian tour with William Crighton and a national radio playlist on JJ Australia.
The songs on her forthcoming debut EP represent an artist who won’t shy away from her feelings, but also one who doesn’t attempt to oversimplify experiences that are deeply complex, or profound. “These songs still have a lot of pain,” she says, “but they’re lighter. I actually feel like I’ve let go of a lot of things in the past year, and that’s had a big influence on my writing.”
“I want to tell people that it’s OK to feel a certain way,” she added. “You might feel happy one day, then the next day you might feel like shit, and that’s alright. We need more songwriters doing that, addressing mental health. It is getting better, but I think depression is still quite a taboo subject, especially in music.”
Montgomery proved a mesmerising hit on the festival circuit last summer after a slew of stunning debut performances at eighteen UK & European summer festivals including Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk, Electric Picnic and Black Deer.
Already a musical force of nature, performing with great intensity on both guitar and keyboards, it’s her powerful vocal that has captured attention in big ways, drawing immediate comparisons to Janis Joplin, Anna Calvi and Alanis Morrisette but with a very modern attitude. A voice with exceptional power but with an individuality all of its own.
On what seems like an unstoppable trajectory, one thing is certain, Montgomery is not going to compromise her art for anyone. Amy is a unique artist who is setting out with purpose, and a clear vision for how she wishes to present her music, something that will surely appeal to everyone.
Her debut Intangible EP is available on both CD and digital and available to pre order here.
Jupiter 4 (live)
Old Photographs (live, Belfast 2020)