Monday 3 September 2012

Andrew Montgomery - I Sing the Body Electric

Earlier this week, I was made aware of a new release from Andrew Montgomery, singer in one of the most underrated bands of the late 90s, Geneva.

I'd first came across Geneva a couple of years ago when I asked the owner of a local independent music shop if he had anything in stock similar to Suede. He recommended their album "Weather Underground", which had been released in 2000 on the same record label as Suede, and I immediately fell for it. A concept album based around mankind's attempt to re-settle on the Moon, its biggest strength was the powerful voice of frontman Andrew Montgomery, whose searing falsetto dominated the proceeding on songs such as "Dollars in the Heavens" and the beautiful "If You Have To Go". Unfortunately, due to promotional issues and delays in its release, it sold bugger all, and the band split shortly after. It's a real shame, as "Weather Underground" ranks amongst my top 20 albums of the noughties, and really deserves to be re-appraised after all these years.

 I'd been following the fortunes of Mr Montgomery for the past few years to see if there was any new music coming from him. Back in 2009 I thought I heard a new song from him on 6music, although it later turned out to be "Hooting & Howling" by Wild Beasts (incidentally, I gave my own copy of "Weather Underground" to the band after they played in Belfast to see if they would like it, but they never got back to me. Would love to have heard their thoughts.) At one point he was involved in a project called St. Famous, but that one seemed to have fallen by the wayside.

However, earlier this week I was informed that not only was Andrew Montgomery still recording, but he has a new album ready for release by the end of the year. Even more promisingly, it has been produced by Sean McGhee, whose latest project Artmagic is a collaboration with Richard Oakes of Suede. The first fruits of their collaboration is "I Sing the Body Electric", a song that shows that Montgomery's has lost none of its tone, strength, nor vulnerability in the intervening years. It is a real thing of beauty, and has really whetted my appetite for the upcoming album when it is released.

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