Tune in to the latest from Portuguese indie soul artist, MONDAY, a laid-back tune about the ins and outs of comfortable distance.
Tune in one and all, to the latest magic from Portuguese indie-soul artist, Cat Falcão, half of folk duo Golden Slumbers, and now slaying away with her solo outfit, MONDAY. The laid-back style donned in this particular application of her creativity is indicative of a fresh direction in music, with a sultry “c’est la vie” sentimentality and a timeless brand of nostalgia. The soul-soaked song, “out-in”, is a perfect application of this naturalistic vibe – from her generous use of classic synths, nostalgic guitar riffs and melodic freshness, it all aligns to offer up a majestic ode to listless love. Her approach to songwriting is honest, with the message of the track reflected in the natural ebb and flow of the song as a whole.
We spoke to Cat Falcão of MONDAY about her early influences, her introduction to the music scene in Portugal and the inspirations behind her forthcoming EP, “Room For All”.
How would you describe your taste when it comes to music? Nowadays, I think it’s pretty broad. I don’t stick to one specific genre, it mostly depends on what I feel like listening that day. I’ll vary from old school artists such as Elvis, Nina or Billie Holiday to more “contemporary” music, from RnB to folk. There are so many good albums and artists out there, with such distinct styles, making it hard to pinpoint my taste exactly. I guess it’s very much subjective, if a song means something to me, I’ll enjoy it, no matter the style!
What drew you to the folk music scene in Portugal? I started performing with my sister when I was 19 (we have a band together called Golden Slumbers) and it just came naturally. We weren’t aware of the independent music scene in Portugal and even less aware of the folk scene, but we enjoyed folk music and related to the songwriting aspect of it. Plus, we really liked singing. So we became part of it almost naively. When I started MONDAY it was more folkish than it is now, with the new songs, but it does always come from that songwriting background.
Can you name some early musical influences? Yes! I remember listening to Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” on and on throughout my childhood (I still love that album, top ten for sure). My mum has also always enjoyed Louis Armstrong, so my sisters and I listened to a lot of his music. “Águas de Março” sung by Elis Regina and Tom Jobim is another tune that takes me back to younger days. And of course, the amazing pop music of the 2000’s, my favorite being Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.
How did you first get into making music? I’ve always been actively connected to music, my sisters and I were part of a choir growing up and we’d sing loads of songs and harmonize at home together. When I was a bit older, around eleven or twelve, I started having guitar lessons and writing jokey songs with Margarida, one of my sisters. We decided to take it a bit more “seriously” when I turned 19 and recorded our first EP. I think it’s been a very natural growth process and a couple of years ago I felt the need to start a solo project, which is MONDAY. I’ve been learning more and more about music, about what I like and don’t, about songwriting, about my voice and what I want to say in my songs.
What is your inspiration behind your latest release, “out-in”? It came from this cyclical feeling of wanting to be with a person whilst not being sure it’s the right thing for you, hence the repetition of the words ‘out & in’. However, I didn’t want the song to give too much emphasis on that discomfort but instead wanted it to give a more chilled approach to the situation, a bit as if I’m watching from a distance and realizing it’s not that big of a deal and I just need to relax, 😊.
How does your songwriting process usually go? It completely varies, I’ll either start with an idea for a melody, with some chords or some specific metric that I like and then spend hours trying to come up with the whole structure. I’ve written a lot of not great songs that will forever be kept locked in my computer, but they’ve allowed for better ones to come, so that’s cool. I do tend to write when I am feeling too many feelings; I’ve never been great at expressing myself, for better and worse, so I’ll use songwriting as an output for what’s in my head.
What is it like being a solo artist versus when you collaborate? There’s a bit more liberty in doing things solo than always working with someone else, but I don’t necessarily have a preferred way of doing it. I really value input from people I trust and admire and especially when it comes to song production and arrangement, there is still so much I can learn by collaborating with other people. For the EP I’ve been working with Miguel Nicolau and he’s brought his vision and creative ideas to the table. I think it was crucial to have him be part of this because the songs grew much bigger with his contribution and I got to absorb a lot of technical and creative lessons. As long as you find the right people to work with it will always be worth it.
What’s the concept behind your upcoming EP, “Room For All”? Are there any juicy deets you can share? The main idea of the EP is that of a mental space mature enough to accept life as it is. It’s a very simplistic way, I guess, but accepting the wrong, the good, the in-between and the responsibility of growing with it. The songs all come from a personal, yet not entirely biographical, prism – they talk about love, friendship and dealing with yourself. And one of them is about a lousy one-night stand. Classic.
What excites you that’s happening in music right now? I’ve been healthily obsessing over Weyes Blood’s new album “Titanic Rising”, Joy Crookes’s “Perception” EP and Aldous Harding’s “Designer”. So many good albums this year!
Words of wisdom for fellow creatives? Or in general, no discrimination here ☺ I’d say one of the most important things is to surround yourself with the right people even if it takes time to figure out who they are. Also, don’t rely on verbal contracts – have it written. But mostly, just focus on enjoying what you’re doing, if it’s not out of love there’s no point to it.