Montero is sharing a new single from his forthcoming album, Performer, out February 2nd on Chapter Music. The “Running Race” video was created by animator Sean McAnulty who has become a friend of Montero’s over social media. “I saw his claymation work and was blown away by the gorgeous colors and emotions and asked if he would do a clip for me,” explains Montero. “He breathed life into Froggy and friends by showing their struggles against personal darkness. The song takes place in the story of a master’s apprentice isolated in a magical castle.” He continues, “‘Running Race’ is about how life is a sports event set in a cosmic stadium, and that we’re all athletes and performers. Pedaling, running, swimming, leaping and flying to achieve our own idealized beautiful victories against repressive inner forces.”
Montero is Australian artist and musician Ben Montero, who is based variously in Athens, Melbourne, New York, Austin and anywhere else he can lay his hat. As well as being somewhat of an idiosyncratic character and musical mastermind, he is also a visual artist. Ben’s comic-based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. He draws a column for Vice and his art has graced album covers, t-shirts and posters for Mac DeMarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others.
The album Performer was produced by Ben, Jay Watson of Tame Impala/Pond/Gum, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian at Mark Ronson’s Tileyard studios in London. All instruments were played by Ben, Jay and Riccardo, save some violin by Emily, a waitress from the studio cafe, and electric piano from Ben’s uncle Jason.
Descriptions of Performer have stated that it “glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. Montero’s music evokes the extended soundscapes and textures of 70s prog, the easy listening adult weirdness of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, and the sports arena pounding of vintage MOR rock – sometimes all in the space of one song. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder.”