words by tom johnson
photograph by charles knowles
It’s hard to think of a more perfect album cover than the one that adorns Great Big Wild Oak, the much-anticipated debut full length from Alex Montenegro Skirts project. Not only hazy and gentle, the photograph also holds a little magic of its own, the four children playing in the water stirring memories – realised or requited – of long summer days, the childlike grip of adventure, the tingling desire to find our own way back to such a thing.
The ten songs that make up Great Big Wild Oak are suitably and profoundly moving, expanding upon the fleeting songs that conjured such a warm response on 2018’s Almost Touching EP with impressive grace. Lead song ‘Always’, released alongside the album’s announcement (released July 30th via Double Double Whammy) felt like a realisation of all the quiet pining for a full album that has gathered pace over the past couple of years, intimate and emotive in all the very best of ways.
Today, we’re very pleased to unveil the album’s next single, the equally impressive ‘True’ and yet more proof of Montenegro’s ability to pull listeners into the very heart of her own stirring and distinct memories. “True is about leaving home with an idea that it will offer some sort of distraction from a person,” Montenegro says of the new song, “but somehow finding yourself surrounded by direct reminders of them.”
Billed as the album’s “twangiest” track, ‘True’ bristles with southern, sonic playfulness, opening with rambling lines of piano, that babble away underneath the purposeful percussion and aching guitars that lend a real sense of character to the song. It’s Montenegro’s seemingly innate ability to bring poignancy to the surface that once again reigns supreme, however. Her wandering voice, always happy to drift off into the ether, is still able to hold the focus amid the full-bodied sound of her band that plays on regardless, honest, true, and full of vigour.
Great Big Wild Oak is released on the last day of July, and is available to preorder now via the Bandcamp link below. You can listen to ‘True’ in all of its ramshackle beauty right now:
Great Big Wild Oak is released July 30th, via Double Double Whammy
A Music Journal ~ Issue 8
Our Curious Printed Magazine