Montage Populaire make me jig around the room like a string puppet. Yeah, that’s right. My strings were all tangled by the time the barnstorming ‘Nothing Serious‘ EP was over.
Title track ‘Sharpening Knives‘ sets off at a fair pace- just between walking and jogging, I would say, while ‘Separate Frames‘ stops and starts like a boy racer encountering a series of speed cameras. The sudden injection of pace as frontman Luke Donovan sings ‘Choke on your heart, pretend to smile‘ is exhilarating. Looking at the lyrics of these first two songs, it is easy to imagine them being sung by Morrissey (that’s a good thing). Like a bunch of asparagus, that introspective style is welcome on the table so long as it is not over-done.
‘Cornered‘ takes a slower pace and strips back the layers of distortion and effects present on the first two tracks. This makes Mark Bishop’s intricate guitar work and Luke’s voice easier to focus on than in other songs.
Title track ‘Nothing Serious‘ closes the EP and sounds like a set finisher. The listener has awoken from a night of bad dreams, pulls back the blinds and everything seems better as the mid-morning sun hits their face. After the troubling ‘Separate Frames‘, it’s only right to sign off in a reassuring manner.
Luke – who produced the EP himself – told me these tracks were a little rough around the edges. I think they are all the better for it, that unpolished quality is something a lot of acts have to add artificially.
Early releases from talented bands are something to revel in. Mon Pop are going to be massive this year so grab this free download while you can, revel away and get ready to say ‘Yeah, I was into them before they went big‘.