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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Me Too, Ricky | “Sometimes I Need to Be Alone” by Ricky Montgomery

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Having peace and quiet is a rare instance in life. There’s always the rustling of classmates, the buzz from your phone or the loud blaring train horn outside your dorm. Feeling overwhelmed no matter where you go, you can’t help but want to escape for a while.

Solo efforts dating back to 2014 and collaboration under the band The Sticks in 2017, Ricky Montgomery can’t seem to escape making music. Montgomery first gained attention as an internet star on platforms such as Vine, building a following that stuck with him for his debut release, Montgomery Ricky, in 2016. From there, Montgomery and his band didn’t release much more than a couple singles — it was an unofficial retirement.

Thanks to the massive revival of his songs, such as “Mr. Loverman” and “Line Without a Hook” through TikTok, Montgomery has returned, dragged back into the music scene with a new sense of purpose: to share his story. His sophomore release Rick comes nearly seven years after his debut. As much as I enjoyed most of the album — “Black Fins,” the sorrowful reflection on his father’s passing and “Boy Toy,” the energetic demand to find love whether it be abusive or not —, there’s one track that I can’t stop replaying.

“Sometimes I Need to Be Alone” perfectly balances soft frustration and unbearable anguish with Montgomery stuck deciding between himself and another. The track begins with piano and distant vocals —a parallel to this idea of isolation with Montgomery sitting alone to voice his concerns. He declares his much needed break from life, wishing that by somehow getting away from it all, his problems will be fixed.

Heading into the chorus, we break from the isolated room into an explosion of sound. Amidst the wave of drums, keys and an addictive guitar tone, Montgomery’s vocals shine the most. At a lower octave than he normally sings, Montgomery depicts images of the world moving past him. He compares this to the personal battle he’s having with someone — to them, it’s of little importance, but to him, it’s everything.

“It’s such a simple question /

With such an easy answer /

But I’m afraid /

It’s you”

The question Montgomery mentions is never stated, but the ambiguity makes it more powerful. It’s not about what he’s asking but rather his inability to answer what he sees as an easy question. As he belts out his fear, another point is made: it’s not that he doesn’t know how to answer the question, he is afraid to. 

The fear of a relationship ending after everything you’ve built haunts Montgomery in his isolation, hiding from his emotions. Escaping helps one gather their thoughts, but what really matters is the actions you take. You can’t hide in the peace for too long, because, eventually, you need to answer the questions you face to make change in your life.

If you want to hear more unique indie songs, listen to the rest of the sophomore release from Ricky Montgomery, Rick, released on Sept. 29, 2023.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Wilbert, Writer
Ryan Wilbert (he/him) is a freshman at MSU studying Information Science. He is usually found either playing his guitar or eating Crunch bars from the Sparty’s markets. His favorite artists include Car Seat Headrest, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys, accounting for a good portion of his CD collection. “The ocean washed over your grave.” - Car Seat Headrest

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