Pop music, when done right, generally has a few goals in mind. The music is designed to make us feel happy, feel heard, and give us something easy to relate to.
The Catalina‘s (lead vocalist and guitarist James Howard, Adam Hepner on drums, and Justin Jacobs on guitar) embody these goals on Love Somebody. Their debut EP is a modern pop twist on 80s rock. Think of bands like The Police or The Band CAMINO, except embedded with Midwest charm.
To say they’ve leapt out of the gate is an understatement, as the over 62,000 streams of their opening track “Love Somebody” on Spotify proves. The gated reverb snare drum takes you back, while the clean guitar and vocals spring forward. The simplistic message of unrequited love is channeled into a warm sonic atmosphere. The chorus provides a catchy, echo’ed squelch. This is followed by a seamless bridge featuring a memorable keyboard instrumental break. Simply, “Love Somebody” is the perfect giddy-up to start an EP.
Every intro on the five-song EP are hooks in themselves. The start of “La Vie en Rose” triggers Will Smith ala Fresh Prince, but quickly expands into another shiny pop gem. The Catalina build on their strength of expressing youthful emotions in an authentic way. Translated as “Life in happy hues,” the song tells of an adventurous woman traveling on red-eye flights and silently slipping away.
There she goes
Caught up dreaming in la vie en rose
She’s got everything
Always seeing it right
Pink shades all the time
I wish that I could see through her eyes
The final track on the EP, “Fine Line (Looking at You)” explodes with drums and a change of intensity. Crafted with vulnerability and longing, the proportion of emotions to sound is expansive. The Catalina quell their emotions into a relatable twist of lyrical lines that promote happiness and make us feel heard.
Love Somebody is a powerful pop start for a young Minneapolis band. Forging a positive path in today’s often depressing world, The Catalina know how to add a layer of happiness and sheen that is already connecting to a larger audience. It’s a great reminder to love first and let your feelings lay on your sleeve.
Check out “Love Somebody” released TODAY at any of their socials below: