From their early days busking in their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, folk-country duo The Montvales have fine tuned the art of meeting listeners exactly where they are. And with their upcoming album Born Strangers, the pair—Sally Buice and Molly Rochelson—have taken that concept to universal levels, creating a reaffirming collection of songs for these uncertain times as told through the wide-eyed existentialism of their stories and the questions raised by their lyrics. And while staying true to the folk traditions like a strong sense of home or enacting change through art, The Montvales offer up their mantras through the fresh, honest perspective of young, female artists in the 2020s.
Due out on February 2nd, Born Strangers takes a step into new territory with a full band of Nashville musicians; a departure from Heartbreak Summer Camp, The Montvales’ 2019 album that reunited the duo after Buice and Rochelson moved away for some time to seek their fortunes separately.
The new direction was aided by producer Mike Eli LoPinto (guitarist for Chris Stapleton and co-writer and producer of Emily Nenni’s “On the Ranch”) who assembled an A-list roster of session players at sound engineer Sean Sullivan’s Tractor Shed Studio for Born Strangers. The result is The Montvales’ sound elevated and amplified. Buice and Rochelson’s voices intertwine jubilantly throughout the album—a sound developed over a lifetime of singing together—and listeners are compelled to join in harmony on a dynamic journey through the gritty, determined, and sometimes absurd world of The Montvales.
Today, the duo shared their first single from Born Strangers, “Lou.” A meditation on the future of public lands seen through the eyes of her baby niece, “Lou” is set against the backdrop of Buice’s young adult years working on farms and ranches and traveling through wilderness near and far from home. Accompanied by gentle fingerpicking and swells of pedal steel, the heartfelt tune offers a restrained sort of prayer that human kind can keep it together long enough to pass those places onto the next generation. “I bear witness as people fall in love with the land,” says Buice about her part-time job as a wrangler on a southern Colorado ranch. “This song is about my obstinate hope that we can hold onto and protect that deep connection.”
Fans can stream or purchase “Lou” today at this link and pre-order Born Strangers ahead of its February 2nd release right here or presave it here. The Montvales will take the stage tonight in Toledo, Ohio, before heading down to Texas at the end of the month. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at themontvales.com/tour.
Born Strangers Tracklist:
Woman of God
Above the Tennessee
New Year’s Eve
Ring Around the Moon
Say the Word
One More Winter
Through the Night
Catch The Montvales On Tour:
Nov. 17 - Toledo, OH - Over Yonder House Concerts
Nov. 30 - San Antonio, TX - The Lonesome Rose
Dec. 1 - Houston, TX - McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Dec. 2 - Austin, TX - House Show
Dec. 8 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Revival
Dec. 16 - Berea, KY - Rebel Rebel Studio & Lounge
Jan. 20 - Charlottesville, VA - Potter’s Craft Cider
Jan. 21 - Richmond, VA - The Camel
Jan. 23 - New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall
Jan. 24 - Philadelphia, PA - Move With Love
Jan. 25 - Lancaster, PA - West Art
Jan. 26 - Morgantown, WV - Gene’s Beer Garden
Jan. 27 - Thomas, WV - The Purple Fiddle
Jan. 28 - Thomas, WV - The Purple Fiddle