Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks
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Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie




"Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks – ‘Out Like A Light’"

Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks – ‘Out Like A Light’
July 31, 2017 | Bryon William

The July, 2017 Indie Spoonful Artist of the Month Winners Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks are an amazingly talented alt-indie rock group that you do not want to miss out on. Ricky joined his first band as a lead guitarist at the age of 14. After years of contemplating, he made the decision to pursue a career in music and moved to LA in 2015 where he put together the rest of the band to tour his debut LP. The band is composed of Ricky (lead guitar, lead vocals, and songwriter), Caleb Hurst (guitar, backing vocals, co-writer), Ben Russin (Bass), and Ryan Fyffe (drums). Now an established group, they have released their debut single titled “Out Like A Light,” showcasing their top-notch, radio and chart ready sound.

​​At the start of the song, you are greeted by soft, warm acapella vocals with lush harmonies that lead into the entrance of the instrumental arrangement. From the moment the first kick drum hits, you are already captivated by the brief musical experience. That being said, the song only gets more compelling as it progresses.

Entering the first vocal section of the song Ricky sings, “Take me uptight,/Strung up like a kite/Dumb, wicked and white/Love me in spite,” with mellow melodies displaying his unwavering, polished tone. This leads us seamlessly into the first line of the chorus as the arrangement gains momentum leading to this infectious part of the song.

“Out Like A Light” tells the universal story of love in the internet age. It shows that it can be both passionate and lonely as is expressed though the digital undertones in the arrangement as well as the well-written lyrics. In the chorus they sing, “If I betrayed/our lonely nights/Spent out like a light/With no kiss goodnight /Would we never fight /When I'm away?” The poetic presentation perfectly embodies the theme and emotion of the song.

Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks will undoubtedly continue to rise in popularity with stunning tracks like “Out Like A Light.” The band shows their prowess as songwriters and musicians with a song that is truly entrancing from start to finish. Their music is available for purchase via iTunes. For more information on the band, visit their website. - Indie Spoonful

"Song Review: Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks – “Out Like a Light”"

It’s better when they’re together.

In the year since I last visited Ricky Montgomery’s music (officially, at least), there has been a fundamental shift. A change of tides necessary to give way to something sticky and sweet. Literally.

Montgomery, a singer-songwriter with a surreptitious kind of joie de vivre and the nerve to make the stuff of sunlit lucid dreams, has linked music-making arms with a trio of musicians called the Honeysticks. No longer is he the titular lone Mr. Loverman from his debut album: Montgomery’s now the frontman of a fiercely promising quartet.

First there’s Caleb Hurst, a fellow former Viner and self-named “tall boy with spunk” all bundled up with the same off-kilter sense of humor as Montgomery himself, on guitar and vocals. Then there’s Ben Russin, aptly nicknamed “Ben on the Bass,” who slaps the strings to let the tunes groove on. Rounding out the foursome is Ryan Fyffe, a long-time drummer who expertly executes his double duty of keeping time and punctuating prose-like lyrics.

Call it expanding horizons, call it seizing an opportunity. Hell, even call it realizing a teen dream of Being in a Band. The brass tacks of Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks (and not just Ricky Montgomery) is that the landscape view is even more dazzling than the parts that make the picture.

And that’s best evidenced in the band’s debut single, “Out Like a Light,” released in the dark hours of Friday, June 16.

Superficially, the track is what many of us would consider an out-right jam. Not in the sense that it would incite girlish screams in the way a Beyoncé tune would (though I may be proven wrong down the line), but rather that “Out Like a Light” is a song that’s fundamentally good. The lyrics do what effective storytelling does: present themselves as relatable but not overgeneralized, personal but not ostracizing. The instrumentation follows suit, offering gingerly stacked-up melodies and harmonies that are easily committed to memory — all but involuntarily. In general terms, Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks delivered deliciously with “Out Like a Light.”

But once you sink your fingers into the guts of the track, you become aware of the scope of it all. It starts small: the song is one that mines the diamonds from Montgomery’s past ventures, gives them a princess cut, and pops them in a stunning setting. “Would we never fight when I’m away” mirrors a snip from “Line Without a Hook” — “Do you like it when I’m away? / If I went and hurt my body, baby, would you love me the same?” — in a fashion that demands your blood ripple with a chill. The triple time is familiar, again akin to the track about the hookless line of love. Montgomery’s unique tone of voice is just as charming as it’d been before. But in this sizzling second outing that evades the sophomore slump, everything has been blown out, amped up.

The Honeysticks bring backing that, ironically enough, subverts the “and somethings” bit of the “singer and company” name standard. The breakdowns and the brief interludes boom in their own rights, with particular mention to the zizzing guitar solo in the song’s third minute. Hurst’s voices cushions Montgomery’s; Fyffe’s cymbals buzz when electricity is needed most; Russin bass bounces to mimic heartbeats. And Montgomery dishes up his own newness beyond the penned lines and lead vocals: an even more genuine vulnerability. Woven between verses is a spoken part performed by an ex-girlfriend of Montgomery’s. Tacked at the end is a singing vocal, tucked with care underneath the more prominent solo, done Montgomery’s by own sister. From these bits alone, it’s clear this song was one borne from passion in a conception that killed the pressure. It’s noticeable even from the outside. Even from the back rows.

With “Out Like a Light,” a riveting re-entry to the music scene made all the merrier by the new band, it seems that Montgomery has achieved all he’s set out to do — and the Honeysticks, too. “My last album was me trying to be ‘a very good Vine musician,'” Montgomery recently confessed. “Whereas this is me (and my band) trying to be ‘very good in general.'”

Mission most definitely accomplished. - The Young Folks

"Album Review: Ricky Montgomery – “Montgomery Ricky”"

Who is Ricky Montgomery? As a Vine creator, he’s an antithesis to the hackneyed nature generally associated with some of the app’s top stars: he’s all sharp wit, no triteness. And as a singer-songwriter, he’s much the same.

Montgomery made his official introduction to the music scene nearly two years ago with Caught on the Moon, his debut EP that was greatly anticipated by his substantial online following and was (not surprisingly) met with universal acclaim. Off that high, Montgomery gathered up his moxie and did what a lot of up-and-coming musicians only ever sit and think of doing: he wrote a full-length album. Montgomery Ricky was released in the late hours of March 31 — 45 minutes before originally slated, an adorably wholesome April Fools’ joke — and I immediately devoured it. I have half a mind to pull a Connie Francis and climb to the highest steeple to tell the world about it. To save face (and my dignity), I’m hoping a track-by-track review of Montgomery’s debut will suffice.

“This December”

With a boy-down-the-street charm reminiscent of Michael Moscovitz (M&M-freckled keyboard and all), the opening track of Montgomery Ricky sits comfortably in the top tier of alt-pop catchiness. It’s melodically marvelous, with particular regard to the lyrical repetition — “I’m alright if you’re alright, and I’m OK if you’re OK” — that grows slightly pointed toward the song’s end. A total gem.

“Line Without a Hook”

Markedly winsome, “Line Without a Hook” is a waltz: The lilting instrumentation moves you along in triple time with a guiding hand between your shoulder blades, but Montgomery’s words keep you lingering. Its warmth is tangible. And the tiny pinging of a ballerina music box woven throughout? Clever and beautiful, and enough to make this track my favorite on the album.


Track three is Neapolitan ice-cream. You’ve got a cool, crisp take on the kitschiness of ’80s new-wave in the verses and a throwback to mid-aughts beach jams in the song’s chorus. Both melt into the final layer: a drum-driven acapella ending that’s begging to be chanted by a crowd of thousands. “Cabo” is delicious, giving you everything you could want and then some.

“Dont Know How”

In the best way imaginable, “Dont Know How” is ambiguous; all steam and synth on the one hand and dirt and depth on the other. (It’s also hauntingly addictive, but that’s almost to be expected from Montgomery.) The merits of “Dont Know How” exist in its fluidity — it doesn’t try, or want, to be pinned down. On all levels, it’s a song that happens to you, not for you.

“Last Night” & “California”

If Montgomery Ricky was an Oreo, “Last Night” and “California” would be the creme filling, splitting the album delectably down the middle with punchy guitars, tart vocals and a healthy dose of adrenaline. Tracks five and six take the phrase “all killer, no filler” seriously — you could live vicariously off the songs’ electricity for days.

“My Heart Is Buried in Venice” & “Mr Loverman”

Bright Eyes and Death Cab for Cutie had a baby, and then that baby (Bright Cab for Cutie, or Death Eyes?) had a baby with a hybrid of Ben Folds’s “The Luckiest” and Brendon Maclean’s “The Feeling Again” to make these almost-acoustic almost-ballads. The pair of songs — that feel like two halves of a full story — are both wholly tender. Montgomery’s sweetly supple and altogether unmatched voice lends itself to his lyrics in a way that will leave you teary-eyed and nostalgic.

“Get Used to It”

The album’s penultimate track feels like the slick younger brother of a tune off 2008’s Vampire Weekend. With its staccato-ed tweeness and cheeky lyrics that warrant repeat listens (“Used to go to university / Used to be the head of varsity / Used to live inside this box with everyone noticin’ me”), “Get Used to It” is modern coolness materialized.


We end as we began: with something powerful. “Snow” seems to capture the essence of a coming-of-age era that chronicles the crests and troughs of a metamorphosis, and it hurts so good. I dare you to escape this song with an unchanged heart.

Montgomery’s first full-length album is an eclectic anthology of songs that belong in a league entirely of their own. It’s introspective without being self-indulgent, inspired without being vapid and extrovertive without feeling like it’s pandering to the back rows. In all, Montgomery Ricky is a triumph for the almost-23-year-old artist, an undeniable catalyst toward a sparkling career in music at which audiences will marvel with wide eyes and ineluctable wonder.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ (10/10) - The Young Folks

"Ricky Montgomery: Viner To Musician"

An introduction and inside look on up and coming alt-pop artist Ricky Montgomery and his seamless transition from comedian to musician.

Ricky Montgomery: Viner To Musician

At the mere age of 23, California native, Ricky Montgomery, has found his true calling in the world of music. Although his dive into the music industry may seem recent, he has been performing shows with his band since he was 14 and going to school in St. Louis. Ricky’s presence on Vine ultimately sparked his fame. His page consists of dry yet witty content and 6-second covers and originals that are nothing short of pleasing to the ears.

Ricky’s overall presence on social media gained him a massive following as an internet personality and comedian. His Twitter currently has almost 18 thousand followers, and is (in my opinion) a prime destination for Tweets of true comedic gold.

But it does seem as though Ricky’s true passion ultimately lies in music. A few minutes before the clock struck twelve on the eve of April 1st, Ricky slyly released his debut album Montgomery Ricky (a clever scheme purposefully masked as an April Fools prank) and the rest was history. The album takes an alternative route with pop-y elements, creating an all around cheery sound that is packed with charm. I couldn’t help but relate his style to that of Vampire Weekend. He doesn’t make music for just one mood. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s reflective, it’s introspective, it’s warm, and it’s overall really good.

The first single on the album, “This December,” is actually what drew me in to listen to Montgomery Ricky in its entirety. It’s fun, ear-grabbing, and evokes a great level of charming maturity. There’s an overarching theme in Montgomery Ricky that comments on how it feels to grow up and become an “adult”. “This December” captures this essence perfectly in a way that is personal without explicitly making it feel like it. There is something very alluring about this song that makes you crave more. What I would give for an hour long version of it.

This album has also allowed Ricky to show off his theatrical side. In the music video for his second single “Don’t Know How,” Ricky performs in some over-the-top costumes and eyeliner. A cat is featured at times in a supporting role as Ricky satirizes the oddities of many music videos out today. The true comedy in the video (would it be Ricky without a few jokes?) comes when his mother walks in on him shooting the video and yells at him to get ready to go to his little brother’s tennis match. The music cuts to allow about two minutes of family quarreling to occur, in a hidden camera point of view. The video is unexpectedly odd and hilarious, showcasing Ricky’s artistic talent and knack for dry humor.

Ricky Montgomery, a humble soul, spends his days working at a bakery while simultaneously making music. Still in the early stages of his career, Ricky hasn’t scheduled any official tour dates yet and has self proclaimed himself as a “local LA artist.” While we are saddened by this news, it seems Ricky does have big plans for himself and his music career. In an interview with Up To Tempo, Ricky said “I’ve been writing another album for a while. I’m trying to reinvent myself and become better and make a much better album, which I will do.” He also commented on the current grey area of his title as a Viner, stating “hopefully [I will be] just playing more shows and becoming more of a musician and less of a Viner. That’s sort of been the dream for a while, separating the two.”

This is a formal thank you to Ricky Montgomery for blessing us with his music, Vines, tweets, music videos, and overall presence. I, personally, can’t wait to see what is next for him and what the future holds.

Like what you heard? Make sure to follow Ricky Montgomery on Soundcloud and Spotify. And don’t forget to check out his website and follow his Twitter and Vine, for more of his hilarious content! - Verge Campus

"Ricky Montgomery on "Montgomery Ricky," artistic reinvention and the double-edged sword of social media stardom"

As the most beautifully executed April Fools prank of 2016, Ricky Montgomery released his long-awaited first LP, “Montgomery Ricky,” on March 31st a few minutes before midnight. The album, for which fans have been crossing their fingers since last summer, is a carefully crafted, innovative work of alt-pop that was well worth the wait.

“Montgomery Ricky” takes the genre of pop, flips it upside down and kicks it around a little. It recalls the sounds of peak-artistry albums like Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City,” Panic! at the Disco’s underrated “Pretty. Odd.” and somehow also The Killers’ “Sam’s Town.” It’s fun, angsty, emotionally intelligent, genuine and catchy as hell. The album isn’t built for any one mood but instead moves deftly between snarky, danceable tracks like “California” and earnest, sober ballads like “Mr Loverman.” It’s a first major release that shows Montgomery has been working at this much longer than his discography would suggest, and predicts a promising future trajectory, especially given his dedication to constant reinvention, which he described in an interview with Up to Tempo.

“I really resonate with the practice of rebuilding — tearing it down and always forcing yourself to get better. Not only at what you’ve done, but as an artist starting over and letting things die because they’re over and they don’t need to go on,” Montgomery said. “I think that’s just a sign of true artistry — continually reinventing yourself and reinventing the way that you express yourself. That’s the way that you arrived at your earlier art, so why would you sacrifice that practice to recreate something you’ve already done?”

“Montgomery Ricky” is full of angst, longing (romantic and otherwise), and a bit of anger at times. The album, in some ways, acted as a space for Montgomery to work out grief and struggles with personal flaws.

“It’s about self-acceptance. It’s about looking at yourself objectively and admitting to yourself the things that are holding you back and the things that need to change, but also the things that are good about you right now. … Specifically for me, I’ve had a lot of problems with co-dependency, which a lot of people struggle with, in regard to relationships not only with romantic partners but with parts of my life that I don’t want to leave behind, like living in L.A.,” he said. “It’s also about battling pride and not letting your own intentions cloud your vision or cause you to put harm on others, emotionally. Also, it’s about dealing with my dad’s death when I was 15. It’s a lot of that. That’s a big sub plot through all of it. I will say, there’s only one love song on the album, actually, and that’s ‘My Heart is Buried in Venice.’”

Montgomery is originally from Los Angeles, but he moved to St. Louis with his mother at age 12, and then spent summer and winter vacations back in L.A. with his father until his death at age 15. Moving back to Los Angeles had been a goal ever since Montgomery left the city, and he finally moved back this past summer.

“I guess I always felt like I was torn away from the place that I really wanted to be, … and I attached a lot of angst to that. It was always my goal to move back here because it made me feel like I was in control of my life, where I was living it,” Montgomery said. “Now that I’m here I definitely feel like I’ve gotten closure with that part of my life. I see L.A. for what it is now, which is a horribly laid out city with terrible infrastructure. Now that I’ve moved here, I can live anywhere, but I always needed to live here at one point …"

Montgomery now works at a bakery during the day but leaves significant time and space in his life for music.

“I like having day jobs. I think it keeps people humble. It can be inspiring in its own way, just by seeing how horribly people treat food service people,” Montgomery said. “[But] I don’t overwork myself. … I leave a lot, a lot of time to band rehearsals and to writing and to just focusing on stuff and listening to music. I listen to at least one new album every single day, just out of habit at this point.”

With the album’s release come two music videos for the singles, “This December” and “Dont Know How.” While complementary to the tracks, both of the videos also show the comedic talent which has earned Montgomery a dedicated base of over 180,000 followers on Vine and other social media—they are strange, hilarious, and you can’t look away.

The video for “This December,” like the lyrics of the song, starts out seemingly innocent but quickly heads down a path of red flags. The choice in sweater was what first captured my interest. But Montgomery is masterful at absolutely-batshit-but-keeping-it-under-wraps eyes. Watch the video below now to avoid unfortunate spoilers.

“My favorite thing about that video is that we’ve got a bunch of ‘easter eggs’ hidden in there. I didn’t want it to be specific to a holiday, because everyone thinks that it’s a Christmas video, but I’ll say that it’s very obvious in that video that the girl is Jewish and you’ll have to figure out why. That’s all I’ll say.”

“Dont Know How,” directed by Dylan Schnitker, opens on Montgomery in a dark, misty space looking like some strange sort of Cleopatra, most notably because he is wearing a metal headdress made of dangling spoons. Weird enough to begin with, the video still manages to surprise you and dart off in a hilariously unpredictable direction. Watch below now.

“Originally we had this idea of renting out a warehouse in the middle of downtown St. Louis and getting … people to just congregate and crawl over each other for a while,” Montgomery said. “We wanted to be as weird as we could in sort of the way that Tyler, the Creator was for the video for {“Yonkers.”] We wanted to go for the same sort of vibe, like, it’s so weird you can’t look away. And that’s sort of the same thing we ended up using for the beginning of this video.”

A minute in, Montgomery’s (real life) mom opens the door, revealing that he has actually been filming the video alone in his basement. They argue. For a very long time. Then his entire (real life) family goes to a tennis match. It goes on for multiple minutes and the song finishes.

“We wanted to end it, originally, at a volleyball game, because my brother actually plays volleyball, but we ended up going for a tennis game because it was easier to organize,” he said. “The best thing about that video … is that literally no one in the video can play tennis. And it’s specifically shot to hide that. It’s a lot of people just swinging rackets.”

Montgomery’s first EP, “Caught on the Moon,” was released in 2014. Met with strong success, he went on to record what would become "Montgomery Ricky" and created a Kickstarter, which he referred to as “The Rickstarter,” to help defray the costs of production. Montgomery offered rewards such as Twitter shoutouts and follows or a personal Skype concert and The Rickstarter met its goal in 30 days. According to Montgomery, the Rickstarter funds covered about half of all the costs involved in making the album. This allowed Montgomery to produce a polished album while still remaining an independent musician. Without a label, a large number of tasks become Montgomery’s own responsibilities, but he highly values the freedom involved in independent production.

“… There’s a lot of stuff that falls on me instead of a marketing team or a label or anything else. … You know, just little tedious things that end up taking up much more of your time than you’re anticipating ...” Montgomery said. “It can be stressful, but ultimately I like the control of being an independent musician and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have the tendency to micromanage anything that has my brand attached to it, because I care about it. I think a lot of people are that way. … Ultimately, the freedom outweighs the tedious things that come with doing it all yourself.”

Jon Heisserer, a former member of the St. Louis alt-rock band Building Rome, has been working as Montgomery’s producer and acted as a strong source of support through the entire recording and production process.

“He’s been part of the music industry for ten years and is sort of a guiding hand through a lot of stuff. I’m very, very thankful that I’ve got someone like him to help me not go into things completely blindly,” Montgomery said.

In late March, Montgomery and his band made their performance debut at Valencia High School. Caleb Hurst, a fellow Viner, plays guitar and sings back-up vocals and Ben Russin, a friend since kindergarten, plays bass. There are hopes of touring nationally soon.

“I tried to schedule a tour but it turned out that mainly the tour van was making it impossible, just the expenses. It’s so expensive to go on tour, I never really knew exactly how expensive it was,” Montgomery said. “I do have plans, but as of right now I am a local L.A. artist by necessity.”

The band played another show last week at El Cid.

Montgomery has been playing in bands around St. Louis since he was 14, but really got his start on Vine. Part of his Vine content is really great dry humor and part of it is music – sometimes quick covers, but mostly 6-second original clips that are as yet unattached to a full song. They’re typically really lovely – like this beauty– and often they’re really funny – like my fave here. Above all, Montgomery maintains an admirable level of self-awareness about his internet presence.

“It can be sort of an eye roll-y statement to talk about your brand, but it’s something you at least have to do quietly by yourself to yourself – talk about what exactly you’re trying to put off and how you want it to be interpreted and what you want to keep to yourself and not divulge in the process of making it,” Montgomery said. “I do realize how tacky it can be, but ultimately you just have to swallow your pride and admit to what you’re doing, because everyone has a brand who’s doing internet anything – anyone who’s doing anything has a brand. And I’m all about just being blunt about that kind of stuff and not trying to front. I don’t want to trick people. I like to be honest about what I’m doing. Hopefully that plays through.”

Montgomery’s internet following has influenced his music career both directly and indirectly. Two years ago, Montgomery was attending school at University of Missouri when he was offered an internship at Adult Swim in New York based off of his comedic success on Vine. He finished the semester but ultimately dropped out to pursue the internship and other creative interests. He has never looked back.

“It got me into the world and I would not have done that if I hadn’t done Vine. I would have still been in college in the middle of Missouri trying to be a journalist or something. It gave me the courage to pursue what I really wanted to pursue. That was really important for me,” Montgomery said. “Since then, I’ve … made a point to only pursue the things that deep down I really want to pursue, and if it doesn’t feel right I won’t do it ... It’s given me a voice, but also a way to be the person that I’ve always wanted to be, and to be honest with myself, to have this sense of peace I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Not because of the popularity, but because of the ability to pursue my actual aspirations.”

Success and followers on Vine have clearly contributed to success in Montgomery’s music career, but there is a compelling struggle in the juxtaposition between his dry style of humor and his emotionally genuine music.

“There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance there, and it did affect my Vine output, actually, when I was making the album because … in my internet persona I am very removed on purpose, and when you make music you can’t really do that in the same way. I had to do both things which drove me insane for a while. It’s not healthy. But I guess they’re just different sides of who I am,” Montgomery said. “They do converge sometimes. I’ll have a line that’s supposed to be funny in a song or light-hearted amid all these dark things, … like the second verse in ‘This December’ when I talk very blatantly about murder. I guess I’ve always liked that – I’ve always liked mixing personalities and creating a more dynamic picture. That’s something that I want to do more of – mixing things and keeping people guessing what’s coming next. I don’t want to be predictable. That’s … part of where the brand comes from and where it’s going.”

Montgomery also spoke to the two sides of internet popularity: affirmation and the fear of stagnation.

“It’s a lot of things. It’s obviously rewarding to see those numbers go up, … but it’s also stressful when they don’t go up as much as they do other times. You end up kind of depressed, like, ‘What am I doing?’ You don’t feel funny anymore. It’s this vicious cycle of always wanting to grow, [but] inevitably you’re going to plateau at some point, so there’s a lot of stress attached to that as well, the impending plateau,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing. It’s good because, you know, a lot of people make a lot of money off of it and it’s fun to watch and it’s fun to do, but it’s also stressful because it can turn a lot of people into shells of themselves, just trying to make money and appeal to what they believe is the latest trend or thing that kids are into, and they never really put themselves into it. I resent that about it, which isn’t the fault of anyone but the people making the content. It’s a mixed bag.”

He sees it as unescapable that eventually one’s growing popularity and acclaim will slow, hopefully with a solid fan base still intact, and that can either be motivating or comforting.

“I think that’s just the nature of being popular, at some point you reach an apex. We can’t all be Kayne West, we can’t all continually grow. If you do, then inevitably you’re going to be really polarizing and just become a parody of yourself, so I think that a plateau is inevitable and also healthy for a lot of reasons," Montgomery said. “But it’s not to say [any plateau is] going to last forever. There are re-plateaus and it’s up to you to take that further.”

Ultimately, Montgomery plans to continue growing and taking his music to new places, and hopes to become a musician first in people’s minds, not a Viner who also makes music.

“I’ve been writing another album for a while. I’m trying to reinvent myself and become better and make a much better album, which I will do,” Montgomery said. “Hopefully just playing more shows and becoming more of a musician and less of a Viner. That’s sort of been the dream for a while, separating the two. … I just want to be able to do music and not have to tell anybody about it while I’m doing it so I can just focus on it and not make it an interactive experience … I’m naturally a very isolated person, very introverted, and it contradicts that to always tell people about what I’m doing.” - Up To Tempo

"Montgomery Ricky, An Album For Everyone"

Although April 1st is infamously known to be a day of tricks and foolery, Ricky Montgomery doesn’t mess around on his debut album, Montgomery Ricky. Within this ten-song record, Ricky Montgomery showcases his excellent songwriting and vocal abilities with catchy choruses and unpredictable melodies.

I was first introduced to Montgomery’s unique voice on Vine, a video-sharing social media app. Vines are only six seconds long, but that was more than enough time for me to be hooked on Montgomery’s art. I can’t quite recall which video caught my interest because as soon as I saw it, I clicked on his profile and watched as many Vines of him singing and/or playing various instruments as I could. Within minutes, I looked him up on Spotify and I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for his full-length album since 2014. Prior to the release of Montgomery Ricky, the artist made his musical debut with a three-song EP entitled Caught on the Moon. These three songs are featured on the newest record and fit perfectly on the track list.

His current single, “This December,” kicks off the album with some tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a toe-tapping beat, a trend found in many of his songs without seeming repetitive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am an absolute sucker for a good harmony; lucky for me, “This December,” along with just about every other track on the album, has some killer harmonies that make me want to start the song over again and again.

As if these harmonies weren’t enough to make the song one of my favorites, Montgomery’s lyrics are some of the best out there. I remember thinking to myself that if the opening line of “This December” is anything to go by, this album is going to take the Californian to see great things. The album opens with Montgomery’s soft vocals singing, “Only in my darkest moments/ Can I see the light, / I think I’m prone to getting blinded when it’s bright.”

When it comes to liking music, lyrics have always been very important to me. I have heard far too many catchy hooks and decent bass lines be wasted on terrible lyrics. Montgomery proves that brilliant music and meaningful words go hand-in-hand when it comes to making a great record. The chorus of the opening track is about as tongue-in-cheek as it gets, as Montgomery sings, “I’m alright if you’re alright / I’m okay if you’re okay.” It is sung so calmly that you miss the bite behind it until the final chorus, when Montgomery changes up the melody and tries to convince the listener of what he is singing.

The second track on the album is entitled “Line Without A Hook.” It was when this track began that I realized I would have many favorites on the record. The song’s melody and beat are unpredictable in the best way, and contain my some of my favorite lyrics: “My emotions feel like explosions when you are around / and I found a way to kill the sound.” The emotion put into this line gave me chills the first time I heard it and you better believe I pressed repeat as soon as it was over. After falling in love “Line Without A Hook” all over again, the third track came along and made my job a lot harder.

“Cabo” is the third song on the album and sounds as fun as its title. The synth in this song is refreshing and shows a different side of Montgomery’s musical repertoire. On his Caught on the Moon EP, the artist stuck with the traditional pop-rock sound while making undeniably good music; within the first four songs on Montgomery Ricky, it is evident that the artist stepped out of his musical comfort zone and trust me, it’s paying off. Luckily, “Cabo” is not the last song with traces of a synth and funky beat.

Track number four is entitled “Don’t Know How” and is his most diverse track right off the bat. If this darker pop sound is the future of Ricky Montgomery, I already cannot wait for what’s next. Not only does he use more technology in “Don’t Know How,” the singer-songwriter also shows off more of his range by mixing up the melody from start to finish. The music video is just as diverse as the song, if not more so. Similar to the song, the video takes an unpredictable course that ultimately leads to it being a great piece of art.

Track five speeds things back up in the typical Montgomery manner with “Last Night,” which is also the opening track on Caught on the Moon. This was the first song I heard from Ricky and is the reason I’m around to see the release of his first full-length record. This has been the song I listen to after a long day at work with my four windows rolled all the way down, a warm breeze filtering through my hair as the sunset paints the sky pink, purple, and orange. It’s another track with amazing harmonies that I try to match as I fly down the highway, one hand on the wheel while the other taps along to the beat.

“California” is a great follow-up to “Last Night.” It’s like when you get off on your exit and are waiting at the stop light; you’re fully aware that everyone around you can hear the song, but you smile and nod your head anyway. It’s hard not to want to share the song with the entire town because of its infectious beat and snarky lyrics.

“California” can also be heard on Caught on the Moon. It’s important to note that I spent about five minutes debating if I should say, “I’m not too good to say I love this song…” because those are the lyrics… in the song… Okay, back to work.

After six upbeat songs, it’s time to take a break with track number seven, “My Heart Is Buried In Venice.” Don’t worry, those lovely harmonies are here to stay. This record truly is a showcase of Montgomery’s vocal talent and here is the song to prove it. The previous six songs were faster tempo jams with biting lyrics and powerful vocals; “My Heart Is Buried In Venice” is a game changer.

The lyrics that stuck with me through the song were sung at the beginning, with the title making its debut early: “My heart is buried in Venice / Hidden beneath all my worries and doubts.” If I’m being honest, the entire first verse struck a chord with me. He uses such beautiful imagery and for someone with an English degree, I am a sucker for verses like this. These wonderfully descriptive lyrics are paired with softer, more emotional vocals as Montgomery shows off his lower range.

Following “My Heart Is Buried In Venice” is track eight: “Mr. Loverman.” Montgomery accompanies a wide range of vocals with more clever lyrics as he sings, “I’m Mr. Loverman / and I miss my lover, man.” The 22-year-old gets ambitious in this track as he demonstrates just how high his range goes; he executes these higher notes perfectly while being laced in more harmonies.

As of now, track nine is my favorite, or should I say the song that has been on repeat as of late. “Get Used It” is the second to last song on Montgomery Ricky and the last song on Caught on the Moon. The melodies in both the verse and the chorus are some of the best I’ve heard in awhile, not to mention the harmonies. I’m sorry, I just really enjoy them! One day I will stop obsessing over them, but today is not that day.

The quickly-sung verses are refreshing after the previous two songs, as well as the reintroduction of a faster tempo. Montgomery delivers some sass in the chorus as he sings, “You want a garden / But you got a balcony,” paired with a catchy melody that will stick with you through the rest of the day.

One of the reasons this song has been on repeat is its ending. For a little over a minute, the phrase, “get used to it,” is repeated as the music fades out. By the end of the song, Montgomery’s vocals are unaccompanied by music and broadcast his talent in its purest form.

The final track on Montgomery Ricky is called “Snow” and starts slower, although not quite as slow at “My Heart Is Buried In Venice” or “Mr. Loverman.” From the first bar, the song holds a much different quality than the previous nine, as if it was written from a much more vulnerable place than the others. Montgomery hid some deeper emotions behind catchy hooks and theatrical vocals before this final track, but all that is being presented in “Snow” is vulnerability and straightforward lyrics. The song builds, as does the emotion, but quickly falls again after the first chorus, as if Montgomery needed a moment to breathe before continuing with his message. The song kicks back up with the same intense emotion into a chorus that pleads, “Bury me six feet in snow.”

It is only fitting that my very favorite lyrics from the entire album close out the record: “Say it once, say it twice / Try to be nice / Well let’s not lose ourselves.” There is something very honest in these words, and they’ve stuck with me since my first listen.

As I am typing this, I have been listening to Montgomery Ricky for a total of 31 hours and when every song is finished, I think to myself, “This is the one. This is my favorite,” and then the next track begins. I wish I could say I was over-exaggerating but the bags under my eyes and the gallons of coffee in my veins will tell you otherwise. It is artists like Ricky Montgomery that remind me why I love music so much. It is albums like Montgomery Ricky that tell me I am in the right business. I want to thank him for making an album that was so easy to write about; the only difficult part of this review was not claiming every song as my favorite, and I mean that honestly.

While Ricky Montgomery lives on the West Coast, and I’m on the East, I can only hope that he finds himself touring the country and ends up somewhere over here so I get the chance to see these songs live! I’ll settle for the album for now, but I don’t suspect Ricky will be staying in California for very long. Montgomery Ricky is an album that will take him to great places, so get on board now. You can buy Montgomery Ricky on iTunes and it will be available on Spotify on April 8th. - Shutter 16

"Ricky Montgomery: This December single review"

Ricky Montgomery: This December
Producer: Jon Heisserer (absentrecordings.com)
Rate: 8.5/10
Ricky Montgomery, has been working on his first full length album, Montgomery Ricky, for a little over a year now, yet this is not his first time being apart of the music world.
Montgomery released his first EP Caught on The Moon in 2013 and from there has been working on this record as well as sharing music on Soundcloud and other apps. Montgomery slowly grew a big fan base in 2013 ,through Vine and other media outlets, and fans slowly grew eager for the singer/songwriter’s music, and on March 25th his single “This December” and a music video was released to the public.
The song is something you could well expect from him, catchy with slightly primitive lyrics, the use of an ironic happy guitar along with drums beating in the background. Montgomery creates a slightly rustic sound with shifting tones of an atmospheric and existential feeling one gets if they stay up well into the early morning after a night of watching a philosophical Netflix TV series.
Although the song has some pop roots, such as the use of harmony and the repetition in the verses, it is more clearly alternative with undertones that ring similar to artists such as Rusty Clayton, in both a rhythmical and lyrical sense. Clayton’s song “Novels” and Montgomery’s Soundcloud recording of “My Heart is Buried in Venice” most profoundly show the resemblance between the two’s styles.
This may be because of Montgomery’s integral harmonies which weave in and out of verses, and because of the subtle slightly camp-y feel of the backings.
Yet, while we can compare Montgomery to other artists of analogous types, he has a special melody that is hard to place in a specific genre. Montgomery has a picturesque voice, that likes to hit solid runs and riffs, making it, essentially, the equivalent to a metaphorical oxymoron. These modulations can be heard in the single, in verses like, “Only in my darkest moments, I wanna see you with your head wide open, empty in the ground, gone without a sound, just another white elms growing at the end of town,” and in “This December I’ll remember, want you to see it when I do.”
Speaking, or rather singing, of Montgomery’s lyrics, which are sometimes a literal oxymoron for their seemingly polite and kind nature followed by a subtly cynical tone.
“This album is about self-acceptance and my struggles in dealing with my own codependency, pride, and my relationships with my family. To that same theme, you can expect to hear a lot of me getting things off my chest and making the songs I wanted to make as a teenager, but didn’t have the drive or the resources to create,” said Montgomery. - Panther Print


"Out Like A Light" (Single) (2017)

Montgomery Ricky (LP) (2016)

"4" featuring Midwestern Accent (Single) (2014)

Caught On The Moon EP (2014)



Ricky Montgomery (guitar, keys, vocals) has always wanted to be a musician. At age 10, he joined the school band on the clarinet. At age 14, he quit after deciding he hated being in the marching band and taught himself to play guitar instead. He played in punk bands in high school but never found a group that could stay together long enough to find success. In 2013, however, a 19-year-old Ricky gained a miraculous following on Vine and saw it as an opportunity to finally give music a real shot. He put out his debut EP Caught On The Moon in June 2014 to test the waters, which immediately charted on the iTunes rock charts around #20. In response, he set up a Kickstarter to fund his debut LP. It succeeded and, in 2015, now age 22, he moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles to search for band members to help him tour the LP. He found fellow viner Caleb Hurst (guitar, backup vocals) and childhood friend Benjamin Russin (bass). Together, they released Montgomery Ricky in April 2016 and began playing shows around Los Angeles. Months later, they found their final permanent member, Ryan Fyffe (drums) through a Craigslist drummer search. Realizing they had even better chemistry as a creative unit than they did as a simple touring band, they renamed themselves Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks and released their debut single “Out Like A Light” in June 2017. 

Drawing influence from Radiohead, The Beach Boys, and Frank Ocean, Ricky Montgomery & The Honeysticks are a Los Angeles-based alternative indie band recording their debut EP and playing shows around California. They have good manners.

Band Members