Monta Where Circles Begin

The emo-pop stylings of Germany’s Tobias Kuhn may not bring something brash or new to the table, but they sure contain a great sense of melody and catchy hooks. Moving between slower paced confessionals to lighter and more pop-oriented pieces, the one constant is Kuhn’s strong, clear voice that gives enough emotion without the songs being weighed down in the melodramatics that tend to come with emo. Opener "Farewell Dear Ghost” is aptly named as the spare guitar and slight haze give this down-tempo number a weight that allows it to build its tension nicely, making the noisy climax all the more thrilling. The album highlight, though, would have to be "I’m Sorry,” which builds Kuhn’s yearning, hurtful croons of the titular apology over a bare piano and shuffling drums. The song’s content may be too theatrical, but the chorus easily becomes an affecting mantra and Monta are really never stronger than on this song. Another experiment that works great is the subtle electronic elements of "Blizzard,” which comes closest to the emotional rock that the British have seemingly mastered. For those who like their music confessional and accessible, Monta would definitely be a great recommendation for those who can’t get enough of Chris Martin and company. (Rewika)