We featured “Dear Kiddo” and “Talk To Me Nicer” by Catalonia’s Cálido home recently on SWIT. Together Anna Andreu and Eduard Pagès write beautiful, modern folk songs and bring an intensity to their live performances that is rare indeed. Their superb new album “Tones and Shapes” has just been released on Bcore Disc. The LP was produced with another SWIT favourite, Joan Pons (El Petit de Cal Eril). We were delighted when they agreed to do an interview for us.
I’ve just picked up the new album, congratulations, it’s really lovely. How does the dynamic work between you? Do you always agree on musical direction?
The truth is that we don’t always agree on our music direction, but when we do it becomes something we feel very solid, we try to be very sincere and critical with each other, because If you don’t feel represented with the songs, it’s just a hell to go out there and play them on and on. We both write and compose separately and together. It’s the best way. Sometimes you feel you can write a song all alone, other times you need the other one’s vision to make it.
Looking at your videos of live performances, I see proverbial sparks flying between you, how does that feed into your song-writing?
While we write songs is almost like a battle within us, sometimes it’s easy but sometimes it is just exhausting. But when we play live, we just focus on enjoying. This gives us the strength to make new songs.
How are you feeling about the new record? Do you worry about the reception a new release might get before it comes out?
Obviously there’s always a bit of insecurity, we’ve been working in this record for more than a year and it’s difficult to imagine what would be the sensation of someone who listen to it for the first time. We know it’s not commercial music and it’s not a trendy music either. But we’re very happy and proud of “Tones and Shapes”, and we think a lot of people can enjoy this record.
What’s your favourite song that you’ve written?
“Dear Kiddo” is Eduard’s favourite tune, though Anna agrees it’s a damn cute, round song. “The Moss On You” would be Anna’s choice, and has a special place because reminds her about songs she listened as a child.
What artists have had the biggest influence on your music?
Laura Marling, Kurt Vile, Nick Cave, Ali Farka Touré, Courtney Barnett.
The new album is completely in English, why is that?
Maybe because the majority of the music we listen is in English, and therefore singing in English comes more natural to us. But we want to release a record in Catalan, our mother tongue, though this has to come from a more active and conscious decision. Also singing in English gives you some kind of security distance between you and the songs.
Do you think Non-UK/US groups get enough exposure in the British and American media? Does it matter to you?
We’re not entirely aware about that. At home there’s still a lot of work to do on that aspect, local bands play in a very early hours and rarely in the main stages of Catalonia’s biggest festivals. So before judging how UK/US media treats Catalonia’s bands, we should try to change how things works at home. But of course, exposure to British and American media in our scene it’s supposed to be provided by independent projects (blogs, magazines). It’s not new that the musical industry is a heartless motherfucker. We do feel we’ve got many amazing musical projects at home that other parts of the world would be so happy to discover, just check on Bcore’s roster and let your mind blow.
Cálido home on YouTube
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
Anna: “Thes Adeies Myghtes” (the empty nights) by a Greek songwriter called Arleta. Is like a lullaby that has been there all my life. I guess that the fact that I can’t sing it (because I don’t understand Greek) that makes it look almost magic to me.
Edu: I guess it was “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” from The Beatles, I remember dashing home after school just to listen to my Beatles compilation album, and I always started with this one. Why do I liked it? Well, because it’s simply genius I guess.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Anna: “El Meu Lament” from Ferran Palau, it’s a song that uses imagery that it’s both familiar and fresh.
Edu: “Gribi Bestial” from El Petit de Cal Eril. It’s a song about celebrating contradictions, it’s brilliant, sweet and powerful.
Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?
We agree on this one: “Pretty Pimpin’” from Kurt Vile. Because it’s got hilarious lyrics, the groovy guitars…
What music are you listening to these days?
Courtney Barnett, new Petit de Cal Eril and Joan Colomo’s albums, and the new one from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
What’s the best new artist you’ve heard recently?
Courtney Barnett, of course she is not new, but just came to our ears this year. Brilliant lyrics, lovely tunes.
What, outside of the music world, influences your art?
Love & nature.
What do you think of music streaming sites like Spotify and Deezer?
Of course it’s a great way to share and listen music, but we can’t help also thinking that doesn’t really benefits musicians in an economic way. Even though it’s a great tool for sure, and hopefully in the future will appear some other platform with these characteristics, keeping the altruist spirit of Spotify but maybe managing more personal advertisement algorithms so they can pay properly the musicians. Of course that TIDAL thing… it’s too elitist and too selfish. The nature force of a musician gotta be always generosity.
Have you any plans (or desire) to play in Ireland?
We would love that. Anna has been recently there, and feels like people are really charming and open. We imagine that playing there would be such a pleasure. Also we find some parallels with our homeland (without entering into political discussions) there’s some kind of non- artificial complicity between us.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Edu: “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” by Neil Young.
Anna: “Effigy” by Andrew Bird.
Finally, we ask everyone for a drawing, a little doodle or a sketch of anything (could be a self-portrait, a cat,a line….) to add to our artist’s gallery – so thanks so much for yours – we love it !