From Infinite Vacation to Central Pacific State Beach

by Rey Montano

Rey Montano - Central Pacific State Beach

I guess if I had to describe my “story,” the story that at least gets told through my music, it would be a story of adolescence, at least for now. I have lived in Fresno for all of my (admittedly short) life, and I think it can show through my music at times. But I’m always looking for a way to escape. Whether it be the mountains or the beach, make no mistake that I’d rather be anywhere than Fresno from at least July up to September. Our summers are scalding and long.

If I can’t do that, though, I still have the long-standing escapist cliche of music.

Listen to the album while reading the text.

The recording process for me has always been weird. I don’t go to studios; I don’t have features; I don’t really have guest musicians. Music, for me, has always been incredibly solitary and not always by choice. I started out when I was 10 or 11 and making really bad EDM. But I was always raised with the classics, anything from Nirvana, to the Beatles, to the Isley Brothers, to the Delfonics. Both of my parents are musicians, and my dad does it professionally, so I was lucky to grow up in such a musical environment. Eventually, I got more back into alternative, and then indie rock, and released a few non-canon “albums” that would only be 8-10 tracks in length. Safe to say, I don’t really consider anything up to “Infinite Vacation” in 2021 an actual Canon album. To me, that is the definitive “debut record.”

Infinite Vacation

Infinite Vacation was actually a self-titled album, and for the first three albums, I went by Infinite Vacation, but I had already begun to resent the name within the year after an 8th-grade me chose it. Anyway, when I released “Infinite Vacation” in 2021, I was a sophomore in high school (I’m entering my senior year now.) I was dealing with a lot of the feelings of depression and anxiety I’ve dealt with for as far back as my memory will go. A lot of the lyrics from the time reflect that, I think. At the time, I was really into post-punk and midwest emo, but I was just barely getting comfortable experimenting with the shoegaze sound I consider signature. The Midwest emo and screamo influence is most prominent in “LONELY TAXI,” and the post-punk influence is spotted all over the album.

In 2022, I released Chrysalis, and my mental health had improved a lot from the worst of 2021. One of the bigger songs from that album, “THE SUN MAY CRY,” actually is probably one of the most hopeful things I’d ever written. I hold those lyrics to my current partner that I’ve been with (to the best of our ability) since I was in 8th grade, and all of my songs were about them.

Heaven Is The Light In Your Eyes

After Chrysalis and into 2023, I’ve kinda had this rennessiance of creativity, starting with Heaven Is The Light In Your Eyes, a name I had taken from “Only Seeing God When I Come” by Sega Bodega. At the time I was really into glitchy sounds, and while my music taste has always been eclectic, I would say HITL is the real oddball.

With almost no songs that didn’t make use of a drum machine, a lot of the themes of this album were about the conflict I was seeing and experiencing in my life, with a cold, electronic atmosphere to compliment. A lot of the lyrics were done Kid-A style, where I just grab random excerpts from the poetry I write on whatever notes app I have at the time (see “HALFWAY.”) Older stuff was done like that, too, from time to time, but I’ve probably used that tactic most on this record.

Central Pacific State Beach

Soon, I’ll be releasing my 4th album, Central Pacific State Beach, the first record under the new name. I chose it because of a family trip I’d taken in 2022 to the Five Cities area of California. That encompasses Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano, and Arroyo Grande. We spent most of our time in Grover and Pismo. I remember waking up at 5 am on my birthday (or maybe the day before?) and walking out of the AirBnB to the Oceano shore. I remember our little fire we made on the beach. I took lots and lots of videos from that trip. A lot of it actually ended up being used for “SAY THE WORD AND I’M YOURS” back when I released Chrysalis.

This entire album has a range of influences that I think capture the feelings I’ve had in the less than six months I’ve spent recording it. I can’t even pick favorites for this album (though Speak at Night, Steady Glance, and Forever would most definitely be near the top). Most importantly, it captures where I am right now in my life.

I’m about to enter my senior year, and from there, I’d like to see myself make music a full-time endeavor. I’m anxious about going into it but excited that I’m so close to being done with this stage in my life. I really want people to hear what I have to say through my music, and if it can just reach the right ears, maybe my music will become an important part of someone else’s life, too.


Artist’s Note
Fresno, California
Alternative, Dreampop, Indie, Post-Punk, Psychedelic Rock, Shoegaze, Slowcore
growing, evolving, mental health, recording

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