Montjuïc Release New Video and Single “Your Shame” Which Celebrates Queer Authenticity

Montjuïc are: James Hackett (The Orchids) on vocals and guitar, and Ian Carmichael (ex-One Dove) on keyboards, programming and production. 

The duo have been working together for decades as Ian has produced 6 albums for The Orchids. James continues to be the vocalist for The Orchids (arguably once the most progressive and ambitious stars of indie label Sarah Records), and Ian, who is an out musician and identifies as an otter, was a founder member and songwriter in acclaimed Glasgow band, and Andrew Weatherall produced, One Dove.

Since One Dove, Ian has worked with Lamb, The Pastels, Biz & perennial bear favorite Tom Goss, and has continued to produce The Orchids. Ian also had writing credits on the last Orchids album (Dreaming Kind), but when recording was halted for an indefinite period during the Covid pandemic, James and Ian decided to fill the free time by collaborating on some songwriting of their own, just to see what might happen.

Montjuïc: Ian Carmichael (top) and James Hackett

The result was a masterful collection of downtempo electro-acoustic songs, scheduled for release this summer. Working remotely (James in Glasgow, Ian in Barcelona), they quickly built an album of 14 songs which embraced James’s indie-pop acoustic melodies with Ian’s lo-fi electro soundscapes. Now in its final mixing stage, they are putting the finishing touches to an album they are very proud of; the vocals an emotive whispering softness over grainy crackling home-movie keyboard washes and sampled beats.

The band’s name, Montjuïc (pronounced Mon’joo-ic), comes from the hill in the centre of Barcelona which overlooks Ian’s apartment. Famous Barcelona architect Gaudi famously declared when he was designing the Sagrada Familia basilica that the highest tower could not be higher than Montjuïc, which God had built. The band’s label releasing these tracks is ‘Nothing Higher Than’.

Ian talks of their initial impetus to start working together away from the constraints of a full band: “We were bored during the pandemic, waiting for recording studios to reopen, and the stifled creativity propelled me to ask James: “Do you want to write some songs together?” He said, ”Yeah, why not?” They felt some nostalgia for turn-of-the-century electronic music and wanted to give a nod to some of the musicians and songwriters they enjoyed, and who influenced them back then: Music A.M., Erlend Øye, Telefon Tel Aviv, Peter Broderick, Junior Boys, Red House Painters… 

Montjuïc’s second single, titled “Your Shame” was released on February 12th. Carmichael and Hackett have described the song as ’emotive whispering softness on a bed of crackling cottonwool.’ The song is about living a life free of other people’s expectations, and not allowing yourself to be shamed by others’ standards or beliefs. 

The song and video have an international provenance – the song was recorded and mixed between Glasgow and Barcelona, and then mastered in Manchester. The video features LGBTQ+ people from Barcelona, Manchester, London, Glasgow and LA, all of them living authentically and free of shame. (You’ll even notice a cameo from Tom Goss!)

Ian described the track as “Softly defiant – it’s more of a ‘fuck you’ than a Pride song, but it still recognises that living shame-free is a privilege. Not all of us has that luxury.”  He talks about “Powdery drums shuffling through a sparse punctuating bass line; old electric pianos and breathy keys, and an arpeggiated weird something that I can’t remember what it is.

Your Shame will be a digital only release, available to buy or stream on BandcampYouTube, and coming soon to Apple Music, Amazon and Spotify.

A first taster track, “Never Be The Same” slipped out quietly and without fanfare at the end of 2023 via social media. (And was heralded as ‘beautiful’ by many.) It is available via BandcampYouTubeAmazon and Spotify. The accompanying video was shot on a road trip through Cuba, and the track has already gained airplay on UK radio. 

Both “Your Shame” and “Never Be The Same” will be included on Montjuïc’s debut album, provisionally titled Things Must Change, which is scheduled for release this summer.

BWM Staff

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