The Catalina takes me back to the pop of the 1980’s – a little bit Journey but more techno, more modern. They are releasing their debut EP Love Somebody today – October 9. 2020 is a tough time to put out an album. So much going on, so many unprecedented events, especially here in Minneapolis. The Catalina taps into a feeling and a need so authentic and real with Love Somebody that it exemplifies what many of us area feeling during the pandemic, yet it’s a feeling that clearly goes far beyond today. It’s a known emotion in a time of turbulence and there’s something very comforting in it.
The band, hailing from the Twin Cities includes lead vocalist and guitarist James Howard, Adam Hepner (drums) and Justin Jacobs (guitar). They are young and generous in sharing their emotions in song with stories of love, loss, and longing. It’s a rock ballad gone pop. Very easy to listen to and catchy.
Wish you can see them? Well you can COVID style in their video for the title track:
And a big thanks to bandmember, James Howard (Vocals & Guitar), for taking a moment of their busy week to answer some questions:
- How did you guys get together?
All three of us have actually been very close friends for around 2 years, and The Catalina is the product of when we finally decided that we wanted to make music together. We all went to college in the Twin Cities, and ended up meeting each other through different friends in the Twin Cities music scene. I think once we all had grown close as friends, we all realized that we enjoyed playing music with each other more than playing with anyone else, and I think that’s what drove the decision to start The Catalina.
- The sentiment behind Love Somebody is so sweet and authentic to what we all want – what are you looking for (or have found) in a somebody?
Love Somebody is definitely a representation of what young love is supposed to look like. The chase, the nerves, and the courage that it takes to come to the realization that if you ever want to truly be loved, you eventually have to make the first move. I think all of us, better yet anyone wants, is to never lose that young feeling of being in engulfed in infatuation. The song captures the most exciting part of a relationship, but we hope that it helps those that are far removed from that situation to teleport back to what it feels like to be young and in love.
- Where, when, how is the best place to experience to your music? (Road trip, romantic date, beach party, crowded disco…) Or where do you imagine your fans listening to you?
First of all, you should listen to our music all of the time. But if I had to narrow it down to a certain situation, I think that this EP is a very city-scape collection of songs. Each one has a bit of a different, distinct setting that I saw it taking place it as it was being written. I suppose in theory, it’s great road trip music because every song feels like it’s different enough to feel like a change of pace, but similar enough to still feel like The Catalina.
- You just passed 100,000 streams on Spotify – how did you celebrate? How does it feel?
To be honest, it’s been a challenge to physically celebrate anything during the pandemic. I ended up having COVID and being stuck in my bedroom on the night of our first single release, so this first stretch has been full of FaceTime and Zoom calls. It’s definitely an accomplishment that we were happy to get behind us and we all celebrated it in a group text, but I think we have our eyes set on bigger goals than 100,000.
- What would be your dream come true for this album?
The biggest goal is that it’s an honest representation of what The Catalina is going to be. Obviously bands change with time, but these 5 songs cover a lot of sonic space that we all identify with. We’re a fan of all of these songs, and so many other types of music… so much so that it’s sometimes we have to actively pay attention to make sure that we stay in our lane. We just want people to identify with it emotionally and personally, and have this album be a bright spot of 2020 that sticks with them long past the current situation.
- What do you want people to know about you and the debut album?
I think the most important thing that we want to communicate with fans is that we’re here to stay.. Even as we grow, we hope that we can continue to engage and have a relationship with our fanbase so that we’re more than just another song in your playlist. We’re very proud of this EP being the first music that we release, but we’re also already starting and have our eyes set on the next chapter of our music for late 2020 and 2021. Here’s to what’s next.