2019 has been a landmark year for Jersey guitarist, singer, songwriter Monty Taft.
From touring the UK earlier in the year to playing festivals across the summer and being invited to play BBC Music Introducing stages in both Jersey and Guernsey along with playing a standout set at BBC Music Introducing Live in November at Tobacco Dock In London and then being played by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio One in December.
On top of that he released a trio of singles starting in April with Bloom followed by Long River in September and then Friend Not My Fear (Glass) in November.
As a set the three songs work nicely together following similar themes while showing something of the range of Taft’s sounds from solo acoustic to full rock band styles.
Bloom started things this year and highlights the multilayered guitar sound Taft demonstrates in his live solo sets. The production then layers this up further for a full band sound adding a great texture while the songs modern ballad outlook brings a real life feel to the track.
Long River builds on Bloom with a more full band sound from the off and a nice driving pace pushing it forward. Another love song of a sort it has the kind of sound I can see being perfect for a crowd to ‘go off’ to at a summer pop festival and, along with a great breakdown section, has a more rounded and complete feel to it.
Right away it’s clear that Friend Not My Fear (Glass) is a darker hued track but it seems to continue some of the themes laid down by the earlier singles. With this it’s based more on the layered guitar sound but with a heavier, rockier tone than Bloom.
As it goes on it grows the feeling of something of a western movie shoot out vibe that cleverly matches the romantic conflict in the lyrics, all underpinned by a loud-quiet-loud aesthetic that builds to a huge climax.
With Friend Not My Fear getting airplay on Radio One rounding off a great year for Monty Taft, hopefully 2020 continues his upward trajectory with more great music.