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Montana Sharp shares her top 5 pop songs featuring piano + her latest track ‘Power’.

After wowing audiences with her breathtaking debut single and video Greenhouse in 2020, Montana Sharp is back with her magnificent follow up single Power – a layered theatrical pop track about the pros and cons of wielding emotional power as a woman in a romantic relationship, released today – May 7. Once again collaborating with Majella Productions (Maddy Jane, Julia Stone, Ecca Vandal) to create a fittingly epic music video to accompany the enormous song Power, this spectacle was inspired by the one and only Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland

Power is not quite the empowering song you might think it is upon first listen – and this nuance is Sharp’s strength.  Evocative of Eurovision stars Kate Miller-Heidke and MontaignePower is a tour de force, propelled by cycling piano, impressive percussion and an all-encompassing chorus throughout which sees that powerhouse voice soar to new heights.  Speaking on the inspiration behind this intriguing song, Sharp offers some deep insight, saying, “I think I grew up sold on the idea that my life would be magically ‘fixed’ once a man came to rescue me…I’d get into a relationship and expect the guy  to ‘save’ me from my problems, and I’d be so disappointed and bitter when they inevitably couldn’t – so I’d cut them off abruptly in order to regain a sense of control. I know people will listen to this song and think it’s empowering, and perhaps it was when I wrote it – but I think the head that wears the crown was very heavy, and there’s a lot more subtext within the story.”

Montana Sharp’s top 5 pop songs featuring piano

  1. Criminal – Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple was the original sexy Sad Girl™, but she’s more than that -she brought classically influenced piano to the mainstream and made it cool. Criminal earned her a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance in 1996, but when you listen to the chordal structure and sophisticated piano motifs, it’s anything but commercial (in the best way!). As someone who is also a classically trained pianist who writes pop songs that are definitely left of field, I look up to the way Apple’s Criminal is able to marry pop and classical badassery.

2.            Glass Piano – Kathleen

I once did a workshop with Patt Pattinson from Berklee College of Music who introduced me to the songwriting concept of prosody – where every musical facet of the song works together to communicate the same message. Glass Piano has perfect prosody; it’s centred around the word ‘piano’, it features the same cyclical piano line over and over, the vocal lines are overflowing into each other, all succinctly capturing the exhaustive repetitive nature of a narcissistic relationship. Kathleen’s songwriting is immensely clever on all fronts. 

3.            Uninvited – Alanis Morissette 

If you google any of my interviews from my last release, you’d probably get sick of me mentioning Alanis Morissette over and over but I can’t help it. Uninvited was a huge influence in my early songwriting years because it’s just so EXTRA – it sounds like a soundtrack. I also am very partial to a Mix flat 2 flat 7 scale so that had me hooked from the word go. 

4.            Green Light – Lorde

I don’t care who you are or what type of music you like, as soon as you hear the rhythmic piano in the Pre Chorus of Green Light – I’ll bet you that you’ll start dancing. I don’t even like ‘happy’ music, but that bit just always gives me uncontrollable joy against my will. I am Green lighting Green Light. (sorry)

5.            Queen (Acoustic Version)- Jessie J

We stan a body positive queen. We also stan opulent piano accompaniment featuring a Debussy-esque solo intro that transports me to higher heavens. Claire De Lune? More like Claire De-Queen! As someone who prides herself on being a curve queen, the message of this song is so powerful and makes you feel like Goddess. Would love to perform this live someday soon with the piano accompaniment in tow. 

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The video clip for Power is nothing short of spectacular.  Set in the world of Alice In Wonderland with Sharp cast as the Queen of Hearts, the video is dark, moving, vibrant and more than a little unsettling.  It’s the perfect reflection of this complicated song; of reclaiming a power dynamic in a relationship, for better or worse.  Reflecting on the making of the clip, Sharp explains, I’ve worked with Majella before on the video for my song Greenhouse, and I loved how I presented them with a concept and they one-upped my idea by a mile.  I had an idea of a superhero WonderWoman vibe, and they took that and came up with the Queen of Hearts/maze idea to represent the story behind the song.  Although I don’t have anywhere near that many ex boyfriends – and in my view I’m way too weird to pull off the ‘hot heartbreaker’ vibe, I absolutely loved how they brought the story to life!”

With a background in classical piano since early childhood and studying pop voice at Monash University, this highly trained, highly skilled musician has managed to marry complex chord structures and motifs found in classical music with modern pop songwriting conventions – resulting in utterly brilliant, captivating songs that are so uniquely Montana Sharp.  And as a busy session musician by day with her work for others topping AMRAP charts, it’s now time to shine a light on Montana Sharp the solo artist.

Power is out today, May 7.

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