Behind The Noise


Northern Ireland’s CATALAN! (the project of Ewen Friers) caught our attention with his lively mix of indie, post-rock, and post-punk on debut album Veritas. Ahead of the release CATALAN! revealed the catchy Fortune, a fitting track that “echoes how we consume the world through social media.” We caught up with Friers to find out more about Fortune, including the writing process, themes, the accompanying music video and more. 

Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you as a band?

Fortune has the energy and the world music infused rhythm of the preceding singles and indeed the album as a whole. But there is a more wistful, emotive quality to this track. It doesn’t have the swagger of the others but there’s something more reflective and thoughtful about Fortune. I like that energy.

How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?

This was the last song written for the album, written very quickly in one sitting. The approach was similar to the others, but everything just fell into place faster. Of all the inspiration you can hear a bit of a nod to Refused in the drumming. It’s fun to think that a song that, to me, is a world music infused, indie rock pop song is absorbing elements of Refused!

Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?

Much like the rest of the album the lyrics dart around subject matter in an almost stream of consciousness approach. It echoes how we consume the world through social media, fractured and constantly shifting. For example one line might be about eating falafel at a night market in Melbourne, the next is about the endlessly disappointing political prospects at home, you might get environmental catastrophe here and selfie sticks there and everything in-between. That is the CATALAN! thematic approach, thirty themes per song!

Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?

I gave my video marker Slaine Browne the track and let him decipher what meaning he could. A huge part of writing such reference heavy, thematically dense lyrics is not explaining them away too much to the listener. It’s always such a joy to put lyrics out there and see how different listeners derive their own personal meaning from them, the lyrics are sort of a living thing in that sense. Slaine took the track over lockdown and I gave him full freedom to interpret it as he saw fit. The mash up footage of gold prospectors, cheesy TV game shows, heavy industry and hot wheels pretty much nails the thematic rollercoaster that is CATALAN!.

Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?

It’s all very 2020… I sent him the song, then spent a few days in the house, the odd walk to the shops, clapped for the NHS, watched Tiger King and a few days later the finished video appeared in my emails.

Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?

I’ll say thank you for reading this and you can order the debut CATALAN! album Veritas right now! Sláinte!!!!

CATALAN!‘s debut album Veritas is due for release on 2nd October 2020, available to pre-order HERE

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.