1996 was the year that the breathtaking vocals of Andrew Montgomery were first heard by the great record buying public with the release of Geneva's debut single, No One Speaks. Geneva, for me, were the perfect antidote to all the lad rock of the time with their haunting melodies, chilling lyrics and that voice of an angel. Between the release of No One Speaks and the end of 1997 they had released a further three singles and one of the best albums of '97 in Further. After a bit of wrangling with the record label they released a couple of further singles and then a second album in 2000, none of which garnered the same level of critical or public acclaim as their earlier material.
Fast forward 14 years and in late 2014 the debut solo album from Andrew Montgomery appears, seemingly out of nowhere. From the opening track it is obvious that Montgomery's voice has lost none of that quality or emotion that it always had. Not sure if it just the fact that they are both Scottish but listening to Andrew always invokes thoughts of the late Billy MacKenzie, someone I am sure Andrew will have the greatest of respect for. There is a sense of loss throughout the album, but there is also a sense of the joy that love can bring. Opening with the ethereal After The Storm, which allows Andrew to showcase his stunning vocals to full effect, the album is a very varied beast with the fun and energy of La Graciosa sitting neatly alongside the jazz stylings of I Sing The Body Electric and the sparse, spacious textures of the likes of Baptismal. Music for anyone who has a heart, it is great to see Andrew back and hopefully we won't have to wait as long for the next installment.
Head over here where you can pick up a copy of the album at Andrew's Bandcamp page or, even better, why not head along to see him perform live when he tours the UK in March and April.