By Allen Steinberg/Quinte Arts Council
When young musicians Shelby Olmstead and Tyler Brassington crossed paths when they were just 15, it seemed like the stars had aligned in their small, unassuming town of Trenton, Ont. Days after meeting in the hallways of Trenton High School, the duo began writing songs together and an instant musical connection was formed between them.
“When we were in high school, we realized we had this writing chemistry and that we should work on music together no matter what,” says Olmstead.
Although the unmistakable artistic chemistry was there from the start, they were just teenagers at the time and nothing tangible ever came from what were the early days of Mntclr (pronounced Montclair). Fast forward about a half-decade and Olmstead and Brassington are both facing the daunting realities of being in your early twenties: Going through the motions of full-time jobs, moving from home and navigating through college life.
But despite the ebb and flow of young adulthood, their creative juices are flowing harder than ever and they’ve since made a name for themselves as a two-piece under the name Mntclr. After their first release Goodbye, Goodbye / Madrid in 2019, the progressive-pop band is returning from the rubble of a global pandemic with their brand new track, “Favourite Colour,” set to release Saturday, July 31.
Compared to their last release, they say this song offers more of an “in-your-face” attitude and is a step up all around.
“We definitely went ‘harder’ with our songwriting and I think the song is reflective of that. There’s a lot of big dynamic changes and it’s definitely a moodier and more aggressive sound than our last release,” says the band.
The new track, along with their forthcoming album it belongs to, was written and recorded entirely in Brassington’s basement during the most troubling parts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of restrictions, they say that recording sessions were staggered but that they had more time to think their songs through.
“It was all recorded at home in super cramped but fragmented sessions. There was a lot of fun in making a record at home, but there were definitely frustrations especially with COVID restrictions making it so we couldn’t continue recording for such a long time. We had to relearn and revise a lot of stuff to make it sound good. We also tried to produce something less DIY sounding this time which took a lot of work.”
“Favourite Colour” is set to be the lead single off of their forthcoming LP, set to drop August 22. With their first ever full-length album, the band is making big moves and is working closely with like-minded artists who can elevate their sound, style and image, they say. The band’s first ever music video is in the works.
“When we were in the early stages of figuring out how we should go about releasing new music, we immediately got in contact with artists we knew would be able to help see our vision through. Currently we have an incredible team behind us working on this project and we couldn’t be more excited. Viewers can expect to see lots of fun, loud colours as well as an emotionally complex storyline taking them through the ups and
downs of pining for someone you might want but you know you shouldn’t have in your life,” says the band.