Els Catarres: “For ‘hipsters’ it’s not ‘cool’ to listen to us, but one day it will be”

  • The trio created between Centelles and Aiguafreda releases ‘Diamants’, their most electronic album, which they will present on a tour starting on April 22 at the Sant Jordi Club that will take them to festivals such as Strenes, in Girona, and Canet Rock

With the confinement of 2020, Els Catarres proceeded to hibernate and have not come out of the burrow until now, with the publication of their fifth album, ‘Diamants’, and the announcement of their first concert in almost two and a half years, on April 22 at the Sant Jordi Club. The album reaffirms the “vital state of mind & rdquor; that the trio says it has incorporated “by default”, now enhanced “by the contrast with the most difficult aspects of life”, explains Èric Vergés, its singer and guitarist.

Els Catarres made their way in 2011 on the back of the harebrained costumbrist rhymes of ‘Jenifer’ (with his declared love for the “xoni de Castefa”), but those edge-folk scaffolding, with acoustic guitars, double bass and occasional accordion, have been giving way to plugged-in recordings of pop plus sign. The movement was decided in ‘Tots els meus principis’ (2018) and is reaffirmed in ‘Diamants’, an album with “much more electronics”, although they have tried to reflect in their songbook the hallmarks of previous stages. “A song like ‘Atlàntides’ is very acoustic, while ‘T’odio’ is very punk-rock”, notes Vergés.

sound perfect

On the album, headed by the theme of the same title (dedicated “to the people and experiences that fill your life; in my case, the birth of my daughter & rdquor ;, reveals), the banjo and the ‘auto-tune’ coexist, the popular voice effect, widely implanted not only in urban music but also in pop. They have come to him despite his natural reserves. “I’m very anti-‘autotune’, but Els Catarres can do whatever we want, and in the end what matters is the song”, highlights Vergés. For Jan Riera (guitar, accordion, percussion), it is about “polishing the voice so that it is perfect”, a treatment from which it is increasingly difficult to escape. “Now, with everything that is playing on the radio, if a voice does not sound perfect, it seems imperfect & rdquor ;.

In fact, they have never considered themselves a folk group and distance themselves from the mestizaje de verbena that has spread through the major festivals in the last decade. That sound canon “has been evolving for some time and pointing towards something much more pop, which goes beyond the party for the party & rdquor ;, estimates Riera. There, ‘Diamants’ contributes “more sound research & rdquor ;, adds bassist and double bassist Roser Cruells, hand in hand with his studio accomplices, Roger Bosch and the “fifth ‘catarra’”, David Rossell (Dept, Brams, Mesclat). “If we evaluate the album song by song, we see that these correspond to stages of our history, but in a more produced way.”

Go from zero to one hundred

Is a self-tribute floating on the occasion of the 10th anniversary? “In the end, the celebration was put on by the book”, indicates Èric Vergés in allusion to ‘Els Catarres X’, the volume of memoirs they signed together with the journalist Jordi Basté and that saw the light in October. ‘Secrets i confessions d’una dècada salvatge’, says the subtitle. “Going from zero to a hundred, and leaving the jobs and dedicating ourselves to this completely was our first savagery & rdquor ;, illustrates Roser Cruells. More literally, Jan Riera recalls that “the first tour was really wild: stuck in a car and giving two concerts a day”.

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Els Catarres say they keep making the kind of songs they like to hear, and not the ones they think their fans expect. “We wouldn’t know how to do it any other way & rdquor ;, emphasizes Èric Vergés. “We have been told that some songs on the album don’t sound like Els Catarres at all, and we already wanted that”, adds Riera. They know that liking everyone is part of a chimerical sphere. “We already know that for ‘hipsters’ it’s not ‘cool’ to listen to Els Catarres”, observes Jan Riera. “But there will come a day when it will be!” Vergés ventures quoting Els Pets, “which critics now venerate”.

Be that as it may, the walk of ‘Diamants’ through the stages seems hot: to the ‘première’ of the Sant Jordi Club we must add events such as the festival Strenes, from Girona (April 23), Canet Rock (July 2), and up to “about fifty closed concerts, including almost all the festivals in Catalonia & rdquor ;, advances Roser Cruells. They will do so while maintaining their fidelity to the Catalan language, which they see as the object of “constant attack”, says Jan Riera. “Singing in Catalan is not militancy; It is an honor & rdquor ;.

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