Montaigne

"Glorious Heights"

(Wonderlick); Pop

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Jess Cerro, who operates under the Montaigne moniker, has been bobbing up and down on the airwaves for the last few years but it is not until this, her debut album, that she presents herself as a fully rounded artist.

Influenced quite heavily by the likes of Florence and the Machine and St Vincent, her voice is indeed mountainous, ranging from the deepest depths to the dizziest heights.

The production on this album is LARGE, with the colour and dynamic of the music as individual and strong as her mighty, invigorating voice.

The best moments, though, come when the sound holds back, and her gorgeous tremor rustles the air without distraction, like on the glorious closer, I’m Behind You.

And it’s this willingness to strip back where necessary and blast out her honeyed pipes over a barrage of synths and snappy drum feels at other times that will hold her in good stead for future releases, and prevent her from being pigeonholed into just one style.

Her obvious admiration for Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne, a man famous for studying the world through his own personal experience, is reflected in many of the lyrics to her songs.

“I’m alive, that’s my consolation prize” she sings on Consolation Prize, a downcast, self deprecating nod at her own frailty and shortcomings, but then she matches this with diary entry musings about eating salad on Because I Love You.

And that’s what makes us human – the glorious heights, the tedious plateaus and the tempestuous depths.

Razor-sharp lyrics, sublime vocal performances, and a dramatic production flair makes for one very interesting listen indeed.

An absolute stunner.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.