It’s Not 2016 Somewhere, It’s a Masterpiece

Ricky Montgomery’s most recent release brings men’s mental health to the spotlight, combating the stereotypes enforced by toxic masculinity.


David Gottner

After a six-year long production break, indie musician Ricky Montgomery released his newest EP “It’s 2016 Somewhere.” The production was highly anticipated among his supporters, and with snippets released through his TikTok account, the hype only kept listeners engaged with each upcoming week.

The production focuses on mental health and how the traumas of the past can affect every aspect of a person’s future. Songs like “Talk to You” and “Sorry for Me” best encapsulate the somber and remorseful tone the album is built upon, while the song “Settle Down” represents how traumas do not limit one’s abilities, but rather how they can progress past them and have a positive life.

Montgomery has always been transparent with his fans regarding his music and the inspiration for his songs, especially with regards to his family and their traumatic experiences with both their father and step-father. This openness really allows his supporters to better understand his music and him as a person, which allows his music to be understood with clarity. 

His transparency also allows his fans, such as me, to be heard within his own songs, allowing them to relate and avoid feelings of isolation that plague their minds. Although Montgomery’s own issues are much different from mine, his music makes my own problems feel validated, especially when it comes to mental health. Men’s mental health continues to be stigmatized and criticized under ideas of toxic masculinity and the unfortunate gender norms created by early men to express their own manhood.

Masculinity is not hiding emotions or “sucking it up,” but rather a reflection on the ideas that boys have while growing up into men. It’s unfortunate that men continue to experience the harsh consequences of antiquated standards, but more so, how the standards of masculinity never made sense to begin with. The color pink, tears, or cooking has nothing to do with being a man, just as blue, stoicism, or camping has nothing to do with being a woman. It’s perfectly normal to have other interests than those of a fallacious stereotype, and there’s nothing wrong with doing what makes you happy.

Montgomery’s melancholic lyrics with groovy instrumentals tie his whole mental-health focused album into a true reflection on the standards of masculinity, representing a new progression towards normalizing men’s mental health in the modern day. With his more mainstream progression, it’s no surprise this production is truly a masterpiece.