Addendum: now feels like a fitting time to also mention that Kranky have finally got round to a first time reissue of RM's Temple VI. Out in March, up for pre-order here now
Roy Montgomery and Friends - Broken Hearted Surgery
Discreet have finally whispered the right sweet nothings and at last tied down The Greatest Living Guitarist for a brand new long player of elegiac bliss. Roy Montgomery has been on some hot streak the past half decade or so, having issued a mind blowing ten albums in seven years for Grapefruit, four of which came in the same calendar year back in 2021. And yet somehow, the well fails to run dry. Amidst this frankly superhuman surge of activity, Broken Hearted Surgery is notable for showcasing the collaborative side of Montgomery's output, joined here by six different vocalists (aka 'friends'), half of which recorded with him in Christchurch, the other half remotely. Regardless of locale or contributor, the sound remains overtly that of Mongomery, that same trademark open-ended guitar tone that finds a unique space between the dreampop melancholy of classic era 4AD, a subtle rendering of Gottsching's komische overdrive and Mark Hollis minimalism. In its own way, this is music as ecstatic as any late period-Swans, and when you hear Montgomery's low-slung vocals intersect with the more ethereal tones of one of his collaborators, it's as emotionally elemental as Gira at his most vulnerable. There's few Roy Montgomery records I wouldn't vouch for, though Broken Hearted Friends does seem to more clearly harken back to Dadamah than other recent output, and as such scratches a few otherwise unreachable itches. And you know what, people should talk of the 'Montgomery Sound' in the way they do that of 4AD, a marbled swirl of ineffable rapture, romantic and doomed and eternal. New Zealand has its Sistine Chapel, and Roy's just added a new annex.
LT01: 70% wool, 15% polyester, 10% polyamide, 5% acrylic 900 Grms/mt