Montpelier ‘Last Boat’ Single Review

Review: Lana Harris

  With a surreal seascape cover and references to a great songster, Montpelier capture interest with their new release before a single note has been played. The song is ‘Last Boat’ and it’s a taste of the four piece indie pop rockers’ upcoming EP due out in April 2011. With one EP under their belt, local touring and a feature on Triple J’s unearthed program, Montpelier have set out to catch some new fans with this ode based on the drowning of musician Jeff Buckley in 1997.

‘Last Boat’ begins sombre, minor chords swelling to a full sound. An immediate point of interest is the use of two vocalists (Dave Butler, who also plays guitar, and Greg Chiapello, who tames the bass). One voice takes the first verse, then both join together for a chorus harmony. The second voice then takes the second verse, with the contrast in timbre a pleasant surprise. More harmonising follows. The song is almost 1/3 over before drums and stronger tones kick in, which then carry through until the end of the track.

The lyrics are a third person storytelling about Jeff Buckley’s drowning, although the song is ambiguous enough to be about suicide in general. References to the man in particular make their presence felt in the gentle way the song is handled, and the overall vibe of the track is bittersweet, not depressing at all.

Montpelier kinda sound like The Shins and they’ve toured with The Boat People. If you think Montpelier might be your musical sweethearts, check out the single here:

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* Polarity @ The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane 13th September 2010 – Live Review
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* Crow “Arcane” – LP Review
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