The impeccable Mike Montrey Band are back with their fourth album Searching For My Soul, a deeply impressive entry from their discography that boldly and humbly stands seven songs tall; but as anyone can tell you, it’s not the size of the record but what you accomplish in the runtime.
Searching For My Soul is more than capable of handling its own against just about any album from 2022, delivering a great package deal about the long-forgotten American dream and the hopeless romantics who walk its streets — akin to Pressure Machine, the latest offering from Utah-based unknowns The Killers, Searching For My Soul delivers on the promise of a genuine snapshot of what it truly means to be a drifter cut loose, searching for a soul and purpose.
That’s not to say this album is morose in the slightest, as it packs in a lot of really fun songs and flourishes! There are moments of melancholy, with tinges of bittersweet reverie, but Mike Montrey and Co. are more than capable of keeping the train moving, and every track effortlessly segues into the next, giving fans a great deal of material to reflect upon. Standout tracks such as “So Long City of Angels” and “Listen To Me Roar” give audiences the pop tunes they might crave, but pack the poppiness with enough subtle indie rock energy to bring people back for emotions they didn’t realize they necessarily had.
The balancing act is a fine one, though, as slower and more earnest tracks such as “Held On To You” and the album’s quiet finisher, “Searching For The Sun,” bring far more visible emotions to the table both in lyrics and sonic presentation. Mike Montrey Band are more than set up to succeed, though, as they’ve been here a time or two and more than know their way around a tune. In regards to true album standouts, “So Long City of Angels” gets my vote, along with the soft-spoken “Held On To You.” These two more or less cover the bases of what you can expect from Searching For My Soul but, really, it’s seven great tracks and you’re only doing yourself a disservice by not checking the record out in full.
Listen to Searching For My Soul on Spotify. Mike Montrey Band · Album · 2022 · 7 songs.
The Americana roots of Searching For My Soul run deep, and the Mike Montrey Band does an incredible job of bringing the genre to a modern audience without alienating the sound either too far in the past or future; with the help of vocalist Jen Augustine, bassist Anthony Duca, and guest spots by John Ginty on keys, Jack Stanton on pedal steel guitar, and Brian Prokop on drums, there are plenty of dynamic voices in the studio the help bring such a dynamic and powerful record to life.
Mike Montrey establishes himself as an artist as fascinated with the past of his preferred musical genres as he is with where the genres are headed, and he wisely uses his art as a sort of compass for everyone else to follow. You get the best of both worlds, and everyone’s happy. Searching For My Soul is a testament to the importance of Americana and rock music both in the scope of contemporary music and what has come before it.