When Montaigne released her EP Life of Montaigne in 2014, her powerhouse voice and intrepid lyrics were quickly met with praise, and she soon began to use her newly established platform to use her voice in a different way.
You need only glance at her social media pages to see the fiery passion heard in her music being used to raise awareness about issues ranging from politics to veganism. In line with standing up for her beliefs, Montaigne is set to headline Girls to the Front in Brisbane next month, which intends to support women in the music industry by shining the spotlight on some of Australia’s female musicians.
“I would like it if we could be seen as equals on the playing field and all domains, and be taken seriously as career artists. That’s not an individual process, everyone’s gotta support each other and further the community in a united way,” she says. “Something like [Girls to the Front] really allows people to come and see a slate of female talent and realise like, ‘Oh yeah, there are women playing music that is good, we should pay more attention and give it a little more regard.’”
In the current political climate, Montaigne has also focused a lot of her attention on supporting marriage equality, through both raising money for the yes campaign and bringing awareness to the importance of voting.
“People just don’t remember to submit their votes or don’t think it’s important. Because I have a lot of young followers I just have to tell them because a lot of young people, they don’t get the proper education around these things because schools are fucking stupid and they don’t teach them what’s actually important to survive in our adult life.”
Montaigne has been open about her bisexuality throughout her career and says that the possibility of being met with negative reactions to her political opinions, especially those related to marriage equality, won’t stop her standing up for what she believes in.
“I have a lot of friends that are queer that wouldn’t do that because they either fear for their safety or they don’t want to be attacked verbally and I totally understand that,” she says. “I think, me being confident enough to handle that, I do have the onus because someone’s got to.”
Since releasing her debut album Glorious Heights in August 2016, Montaigne has been busy writing new music and although there are no concrete details to be reported about her sophomore album at this stage, she is determined to make it worth waiting for.
“I’ve had so many ideas about what it’s going to accumulate to but it still is quite amorphous, everything about it, and I’m still working on stuff but hopefully we’ll have more crystalised details soon, for myself even,” she says. “I’m at the point now where I hear [Glorious Heights] and I’m like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to listen to it anymore’. I’m so over it and I want to do something different and better, whatever better means in my own subjective framework.
“I have great expectations for myself and what I want it to sound like and also for the people working with me. I think for this one I really just want to get it completely right, I really feel like I was compromising a lot on the last one just because of time and resources but with this one I’ve got more time and I’ve got more resources.”
Montaigne is set to perform at Pleasure Garden at the end of the year, for which she says fans can expect ‘classic Montaigne antics’ and a theatrical performance, to which anyone who has seen her perform live can attest.
“With festivals you kind of have to work harder because you have to win people over, there are more strangers to your music there than at your headline show. At the same time though, everyone’s kind of there just to have a good time, mostly, so it also, in a way, almost doesn’t matter what you do as long as the music is good and you’re keeping up the vibes. It’s more of a game than your headline shows but the payoff is really great if you win.”
Montaigne will perform at Pleasure Garden on Saturday December 9 at Catani Gardens, St Kilda.