Indie/Indie Rock

Hidden Gems: Montoya – On The Hill EP

Sometimes, bands will only stick around for a short time. They release an album, an EP or maybe just a single before dropping off the radar completely. But I don’t believe that should stop people from discovering and sharing the songs they made.

And sometimes, bands will even ‘break-through’ years after they’ve split. In the case of Indie-Pop band Montoya, they very well did.

I first discovered their EP ‘On the Hill’ after their one and only music video, directed by Damien Bonnaire, gave them big exposure on Vimeo back in 2016. Instantly gripped by their uplifting melodies and stunning vocals, I have since remained a loyal fan of Montoya and their charming sound.

The next few years, I very eagerly awaited to hear more tunes from the Parisian band, but it now seems that day may never come.

I read up on them recently, just to see what happened, only to find that their social media had gone quiet and their website had been taken down.

I reached out to them via email hoping to find some answers, but their mailbox no longer exists.

After some digging, I found the Instagram profile of the band’s guitarist, Hugo Rattoray, who told me the band had split due to each member’s prior commitments.

After years of hope, this was terribly sad to hear, especially from such a promising band, but an understandable reason nonetheless. Sadly one of the biggest reasons most bands today don’t last long is that at the end of the day, whether your music is good or not, you still have to pay the rent.

Unless you’re a student nowadays or have bundles of time on your hands, putting a band together and managing to hold down your life at the same time is more arduous now than at any point in the last 50 years.

Part of the reason so many great bands from the ’70s and ’80s were able to do so well (in the UK at least) was because at a time of such high unemployment, there was f*** all to do.

I worry now that after the recent pandemic, with so many venues being forced to close, that it may have become near impossible for small bands to get by. Not to mention with a sharp decline in job security, some people might see that time spent writing songs is not worth their while. It’s a shame when you imagine how much great music will be lost to the world because of this.

As for Montoya, I feel somewhat strange writing about a band whose music always ends up back on my playlist year after year, but who I hardly know anything about.

It was great chatting to Hugo, who assured me that the previous band members were all still working on their own solo projects, including singer Cécilia Bonnet, the incredible voice behind their songs. Montoya’s first EP will foreseeably be their last, but one I will certainly still be listening to for a long while to come – and who knows, maybe one day this group with so much talent will crop up again under a new name with more great tunes to give the world.

Listen to Montoya’s EP ‘On The Hill’ now.