Feature, News, Reviews

Monteagle Share “In Reality” Taken From “A Colorful Moth” EP Out On Fire Talk Records May 8th

April 28, 2020



Brooklyn’s Monteagle are back with the new single “In Reality” today. The new song reflects Justin Wilcox’s upbringing, growing up at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, as it has one foot firmly planted in folk music with an eye on more psychedelic guitar work in the same vein as fellow Tennessean William Tyler.

The psychedelic is more than just musical for Wilcox who says that;“This song is written about a hallucinogenic trip I took while I lived in TN. Me and some friends were out by a river and heard some laughing and what sounded like water running. I wandered over to it expecting to find this little sanctuary. Instead I found a dried up lake bed with a dead animal (maybe deer or small dog) in the center. It was very surreal and led me down a rabbit hole of mortality in relation to reality.

In Reality is such a vital listen.

A beautiful and powerful intricate arrangement from this promising artist. A bright and alleviating instrumentation with calming and confident hush vocals and driving, enticing and somewhat mesmerizing riff that carries the track. This new release is truly uplifting, it’s utterly captivating with its infectious western melody and joyous collision of moving notes. Clocking in at 4 minutes, Monteagle has respectfully created a track with such raw and reflecting emotion and honest atmosphere- you’ll fall into the trance on In Reality as it moves you along and suddenly when the stunning track comes to an end, you’ll be left hooked and needing to repeat this whimsical composition.

Monteagle announced their new EP, A Colorful Moth, in early March with the video for the stark and spacious single, “Tan“. Directed by Dan Henry, whose work includes music videos for Kurt Vile, Dawes, Jack White, Foster the People, and more. The integration of field recordings and ambient sound on the song perfectly compliments Henry’s video and turns Monteagle’s first offering from the EP into a truly immersive experience.

The dark atmospheric song takes cues from American Primitive while showing off Wilcox’s adept production work. Speaking to the single Wilcox says; “Stream of conscious. Wrote what came to mind. There were pigeons outside of this coffee shop and they were vial and mangy. So just wrote what popped in my head then performed it later that day. Sometimes when you write something and don’t think about it you can later look back and find meaning. I feel that this is a great example of finding hope and beauty in a time of intense negativity.

Speaking to the experience of creating the stunning visuals Dan Henry explains;”Coming from the past few years where everything has to be fast, slick, and immediately engaging; Tan is a slow and patient protest to the pressures of overindulgence. Saying something louder doesn’t make it more powerful. I wanted to string together a series of images that evoke a reaction and also hint at a bigger story about the sameness of everything. For me, every year around New Years comes with a dark cloud. This past year, in particular, was filled with loss and heaviness that has stuck with me. I want these images to speak to a larger narrative that runs through all our lives. Things that are constant, but also things that are impermanent, fragile and always at work.I was overcome by the freedom that came with having the insanely small crew of only myself and friend/collaborator/DP Dustin Lane. What resulted was more intuitive and guttural than anything that happens with a larger crew. We could be slow and wait for the scenes to unfold, or we could walk right in and get next to our subjects, hear from them, without scaring them away with production, because there was no production… but we had a dog.

Monteagle is the solo moniker of Brooklyn based (Tennessee native) singer-songwriter and composer Justin Giles Wilcox. Known primarily for scoring the critically acclaimed short Documentary Twins Days for the New Yorker and for his production and songwriting for the ambient folk duo Nassau, Monteagle sees Wilcox diving further into the uncharted territory of southern influenced experimental psych-folk.

“A Colorful Moth” a new EP from Wilcox is steeped in vivid imagery or as Paste Magazine describes “tremulous, bare-souled vocals, which are as haunted and alluring as the caves that riddle the rocky hills of the band’s hometown.”

 Justin tells the tale of “A Colorful Moth” better than anyone could…“A while back I hit a little bit of a rough patch. I had just wrapped up a very emotionally draining project, My freelance work was drying up, My mental health was at an all-time low, all this amongst some tumultuous personal issues. In the midst of all of the chaos, I took a walk and ended up sitting at a park right outside of my apt in Brooklyn. While I was just sort of staring blankly, a Butterfly flew up and landed next to me on a bench. Without even blinking I looked at it and thought to myself, “This fucking butterfly, there’s no real beauty in it, it’s just a colorful moth”. I kind of lost it. It’s like my mind became clear. I started-laugh crying and realized how casually destructive I was being and accepted that my situation was mainly my own doing. Afterward, I felt this huge sense of relief and I immediately started writing these songs.”

This EP is unique in that it was written and recorded sequentially. As in each musical idea begot the next. If you listen there are little pieces of the previous song in the next idea. The lyrics are a mish-mash, a direct stream of consciousness, and recollection of various hallucinogenic trips Justin had been on. There’s something soothing in the way that sounds and words dance around each other in a surreal exploration of mortality in relation to reality. 

“A Colorful Moth”, Out May 8th 2020 is a sibling component to an upcoming full length scheduled for early 2021.

Win Giamportone

Monteagle A Colorful Moth Tracklist:


Total Energy



In Reality

Total Energy II

Monteagle – Website

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