Jason Montero fights against the inequities of affection on “Thorn” [BPM Premiere]

Some musicians speak from experience while others speak from desire. Florida singer-songwriter Jason Montero spends his time somewhere in between, transforming intimate soliloquies into universal statements of emotional revelation. Over the last three decades, he has travelled and regaled and brought various genre illuminations to stages across America, balancing Americana traditions with the tenacity of Heartland rock and a few other vaguely defined aesthetics – and presenting it as the realization of the multitudes of sonic landscapes that exist in his imagination.

His upcoming album, Inside Out, is a study in accumulated memories, first taking shape as a way for him to conquer the curiosities of home recording and then as a conduit to foster collaboration with likeminded musicians across a broad range of geographies. His first record in over two decades, it became the crucible through which he refined his own approach to songcraft and provided a window into the past while allowing those reflections to reveal a present shaped by intimate connection and a series of ever-shifting creativities.

On his latest single, “Thorn”, Montero takes a hard look at a relationship in its death spiral, examining a collection of recriminations and emotional tightrope walking that uncovers links to cyclical reasoning and bouts of gaslighting. Accompanied by conga player Joe Frost and bassist Paul Rugolo, Montero sways and shivers within an atmosphere that resembles those lovingly shaped by Calexico and The Mavericks, thought it possesses a perspective unique to its author. Shimmering guitar tones are accentuated by nimble piano keys and melodies that linger like smoke from a distant fire. There’s a gentle but insistent ebb and flow to its rhythm, leaving you with an ache in your heart and a urge to hear it just one more time.

It’s about one of those relationships where you just know you’re not right for each other,” Montero explains, “but for some reason, it keeps coming back around. I always liked how it goes in unexpected directions lyrically, and as bizarre as the story unfolds, most of it is true – this isn’t writing, it’s reporting. The groove always appealed to Joe’s Afro-Cuban musical roots, and we used to love playing it live acoustically. Without a drum kit on the track, the bass really takes the wheel on creating the pocket, and it’s hard for me to believe that although Joe and Paul always had musical chemistry, they never once played this song together.

Listen to “Thorn” below.


Inside Out is due June 21 via Mojotown Records. Check in with Montero on Facebook, X, and Instagram.