With over 20 years of performing live music behind him, Baltimore, Mayland’s Chris Montcalmo has released his debut solo EP, This Euphoric State. Sonically walking the line between country rock and indie-pop, Montcalmo’s pensive lyrics come straight from the heart, reflected by his impassioned crooning. A journey of self-discovery, Chris Montcalmo deftly uses the art of storytelling to take listeners through his mission of introspection and love.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Chris Montcalmo is also the former lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist of the Maryland band Union Jack. He’s been playing solo acoustic shows all over the Mid-Atlantic since 2014, eleven years after his last performance with his former band. The rising star is also active in multiple community projects, his friends joking, "Chris is the most influential local community member you've never heard of."
This Euphoric State begins with an upbeat love song entitled “ Who Taught You to Dance?” Lyrically lighthearted and playful, the track’s twangy guitars and deep bassline give it a classically country-pop sound. Next up is “Midnight Sun,” a reflective, more emotional song that starts slow but kicks the energy into high gear by the first chorus. “Midnight Sun” is also a beautiful showcase of Montcalmo’s vocal range and versatility.
The third track on This Euphoric State, “Until the Stars Go Dim,” was first released as a single in 2020. Soft, sweet, and promising of a forever love, the song begins with an acoustic vibe, with drums and bass kicking in at the second verse and making it incredibly infectious. And the beautiful, intricate guitar solo a little after the two-minute mark is the icing on the cake.
From there, the EP moves into “Machine,” with closing track “Summer Skies” following behind. Fueled by fast-paced drums and bass and accompanied by a power guitar solo with just a hint of synths, “Machine” impeccably bridges the gap between country and indie rock. A feat further accomplished by the melancholic, ruminative “Summer Skies.” Lyrically catchy yet emotional with a captivating melody, “Summer Skies” is another stunning exhibition of the sounds a guitar is capable of producing. The closing track also pulls the EP together with the repeated line, “This euphoric state was an illusion of fate,” showing how the singer/songwriter came about the title.
Chris Montcalmo’s debut EP, This Euphoric State, is an impeccable demonstration of raw musicianship and an infectious earworm with a little bit of something for every listener. Montcalmo poured his heart and soul into this release, and it paid off beautifully. Each track is a top-tier edition to his discography and demonstrates why Chris Montcalmo has been such an active member of the Maryland music scene for over two decades.