Delilah Montagu: experimenting self-growth after a breakup, along new EP, “This Is Not a Love Song”

Don’t have the words but I need to talk about it (Know I do, know I do, know I do)
Don’t have the words but I keep thinking about it (It’s all I do, it’s all I do, it’s all I do)

We might have discovered the perfect sibling if Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish were related! Indeed, there’s something vulnerable and almost mystical about Delilah Montagu’s second EP, “This Is Not a Love Song”.

The London-based singer-songwriter released it on Friday, February 5th. We found it different from her first EP (“In Gold”, out in 2019), but also kind of similar in some ways, like two sides of the same coin. First, let us explain by looking at the visuals.

The “In Gold” EP presents us Delilah Montagu looking straight into the camera, posing in front of a golden yellow background. There’s no bright smile, but still, she’s surrounded by something comforting. However, the atmosphere darkens with the “This Is Not a Love Song” EP.

This time, she’s sitting in a bathtub with no makeup on. A bathtub is also a place where we can feel vulnerable and let our emotions, thoughts, and feelings show up. Therefore, there’s no warmness here, but dark blue and grey. Delilah Montagu may be in two different states of mind with those two EP’s pictures. On the first one, she wants to be seen. On the other one, it’s like she wishes she could disappear into the background. Is she showing us her bright and dark sides?

2021 is the year where she claims “’Cause I’m tired of this make-believe And I’m running out of things to be” (“Version of Me”), so she might come clean today about her colors too. Besides, “In Gold” is musically different from “This Is Not a Love Song” too. Although the piano’s still here, the melodies are slower and melancholic this time.

“In Gold” is the result of five years of work. The 4 songs on it were written at different moments of her life, but the last track, “Temptation”, can be seen as a great transition between these two opuses: “But you’re all that I have, and you’re all that I need, I think about you daily, but all I ever get is « maybe »”.

Indeed, “This Is Not a Love Song” (6 tracks) is especially about telling what’s wrong in a relationship, despite how hurtful or honest it could be: “But I’m still addicted to you in the same way you are addicted to wine […] Thought I was easier to love if I was thin So I stopped eating and stopped feeling anything”, she sings in “Faultline”, one of her new songs. Delilah Montagu isn’t ashamed to express how she feels; she doesn’t fear any judgment whatsoever.

She just speaks the way she needs to. She proves it by putting her feelings into music. That’s a cathartic experience. Telling what’s wrong is hard, but it can also be a way to let something go, or move forward on a healthier basis. A relationship isn’t always as bright and joyful as she might have thought in the past, but to Delilah Montagu, it still is something worth fighting for: “We scream and we fight, we push and we cry just to make up, But there’s no one else I’d rather see when I wake up” (“Loud”).

“This Is Not a Love Song” EP is an introspection of what’s been going on in her life. The piano ballads are also soft-spoken, almost as she was confessing to us at some point. We feel like these new tracks are also a return to reality; a way to say what’s wrong to find herself again and take care of herself.

Delilah Montagu

Sincerity is the main common point between the two EPs. Both deal with her experiences and what she learned from them. Furthermore, she lets out the “real” Delilah come out with these new songs. At least, that’s what she’s trying to do, and this process may continue in new projects until she feels released: “’Cause I don’t have the words But I keep thinking about it
No, I don’t have the words For what I’m going through” (“Version of Me”).

Delilah Montagu is only 22! She writes songs on the piano since she’s 7 and grew up listening to Carole King and Leonard Cohen. She’s really into storytelling. The release of “This Is Not a Love Song” allowed her to work on the writing, the artwork, and the videos.

Mélanie Domergue

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