"The northwest may not be known for it’s sunny weather, but with Portland’s Sabrina, we’re treated to a heavy dose of delightful sunshine in the form of melodic indie pop." - The Wild Honey Pie
"With the songwriting chops to craft both hooky, pop-rock gems such as “Right Way” and moody torch songs like “Fast As I Can,” and a voice that makes them come alive, Velazquez sounds ready for the big time." -Honolulu Magazine
"Full of multilayerd textures and harmonies, Sabrina's versatile voice weaves and flows delicately over a wide range of indie alt rock and folk back drops." -Contrast Magazine
Montclaire is the latest incantation of Portland-based singer/songwriter Sabrina Velazquez.
Velazquez gained a large following in her hometown of Honolulu, HI before releasing her first EP The Anomaly in 2009. She gained a dedicated fan base that found her playing weekly gigs across Hawaii, and landed her a coveted spot at SXSW 2010. After meeting producer John Askew (The Dodos, Alela Diane, Richmond Fontaine), she released her first full-length album, The Hawk & The Hunter at the end of 2010, shortly after a move to Portland, OR. The album didn't just garner her a larger audience, but a west coast tour, and a coveted spot opening for Cat Power, whom her sound has been compared to.
Inspired by her move to the Pacific Northwest and the desire to expand her sound, Velazquez brought a handful of songs to producer Cory Gray (Carcrashlander, Grand Hallway, Widower), and asked friends Nate Ashely and Brian Wright (Pure Bathing Culture) who were already fixtures in the Portland music scene to join in the process. Montclaire’s debut EP release, In the Light of Morning finds Velazquez sticking to her indie rock influences and catchy riffs, while taking a step toward a new form that includes spirited harmonies, heavy percussion, and a blend of warped organ sounds.
A powerful electronic beat kicks-off the EP with Come Along, a track that slowly morphs from into a sea of organic instrumentation that sets the tone for the rest of the album— tried-and-true rock meats dreamy mixtures. Standout gems The Shift and Cowards are iconic of Velazquez’s ability to capture melody and lyric with memorable phrases. The finale track Lex punctuates with stark lyrics and gauzy layers of vocals and distorted guitars. A first step in a new direction, Montclaire’s new sound an exciting new endeavor for her music.
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