“After you’ve caught your breath and taken it all in, the feeling that you’re dealing with the real thing becomes irresistible.” Niall Stokes (Hot Press Magazine) once wrote about Saucy Monky, Cynthia Catania’s female-fronted band with her Irish music partner at the time Annmarie Cullen.
Together, they shared festival stages with well known acts such as The Cure, B-52s, PJ Harvey, PINK!, Wilco, and more as they played to crowds of 100,000 plus at OXEGEN, O2 in the Park festivals and also making an appearance on The Late Late Show.
In 2019, her single “Phones” debuted on Late Date with Fiachna ó Braonáin and RTE’s Arena-the track garnered rave reviews and substantial radio play. Recently, as a solo artist, her experimental live shows have led to opening acts with OURS (Jimmy Gnecco) and upcoming shows this summer with The Riptide Movement . Her music videos are often vivid collaborations with her filmmaker-actress partner Sue Ann Pien who is starring in the critically-acclaimed, ground-breaking Amazon show “As We See It”.
At just 13 years old, Cynthia Catania discovered her voice as a singer/songwriter:
“I used to sing in the car with my Mom – I guess I inherited her vocal abilities, but I got the love of music from my Dad who played mandolin at family parties. I followed in the footsteps of (one of my) brothers who picked up guitar when we were kids. We were close – so I jimmied myself into his garage bands.
Early influences includeAretha Franklin, Ann Wilson (Heart), U2, Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Pretenders. I saw Chrissy Hynde at the Tower Theatre during her heyday. I was mesmerized by her songs, stage presence, and punk attitude. I knew early on I wanted to DO THAT.”
“I picked up the guitar when I left home. I had to learn how to accompany myself at open mics. So I learned to play by ear – which was a cognitive choice. I wanted to follow my instincts-not how I was formally trained”.
“Tom Dunne took a liking to “Celebrity Trash,” Saucy Monky’s first album. We went to Ireland for a radio tour and our debut show at Whelan’s. For me, Ireland was magic. We were in Hot Press magazine, our CDs were in Tower Records near Grafton Street, Irish radio opened their arms to us — it was a dream come true! I’ve always found Ireland to be welcoming to me, personally. When I came back in 2019, after a long hiatus, it was the same. My friends booked us great gigs, my single was played on Today FM and RTE Radio One – it was almost as if no time had passed. I’ve even signed up with IMRO. I’m back on track building that dream career across the pond. To me, there’s no better place to play live music.”
Additional summer shows will include her singing, songwriting pals Naimee Coleman, Sylvie Lewis, and Annmarie Cullen. The new single “Something Better” hits Irish airwaves this August. The exhilarating, memorable and irresistible single from the singer/songwriter drops worldwide on August 12th 2022.
‘Something Better’ is a joyful, kitschy anthem laughing at that inescapable human tendency of always wanting what you don’t have.
“Everybody wants another feather in their cap.” says the singer-songwriter-producer, Cynthia Catania.
Recorded and self-produced in Los Angeles, this track was a labour of love, created with a bevy of talented friends. Co-written by Jason Thomas Gordon (of St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital and author of ‘The Singers Talk’ Simon & Schuster), mixed with additional production by composer Gabriel Mann; additional instrumentation by Adam Marcello (Katy Perry, American Idol), Gabriel Mann, Cary Beare (Kingsize); additional backing vocals by SaucyMonky alumni Annmarie Cullen, and Dublinite Naimee Coleman (Aurora).
Cynthia on the track:
“I remember a conversation I had with an old girlfriend about her bestie. How he was happy in his relationship – but always wondered if he should ‘settle’, what if there was something better out there?” Such is the human dilemma… and the challenges of commitment.
“I guess for me the deeper meaning of this song is to surrender to the present moment, circumstances, relationships, work-life, and ENJOY. The root of suffering is in the craving. Surrender is a way out. I have to practice that on a daily basis.”
I wrote the refrain “Everybody wants something better than they have” and bounced it off a few different songwriters I like to collaborate with. Jason was a resounding yes – and we bounced lyrics and melodies back n’ forth from there. It came quickly and easily. Romance, finance, and status — everyone struggles with those aspects of living from time to time.”
This track has a few snappy pop elements to it. As a producer, I love keeping things minimal and interesting. Anytime a deeper message can be tucked into a pop song, it’s a win-win. I am so grateful for my production mentors – Rob Cairns, Doug Heffernan, Michael James, and now, Gabriel Mann. I love what artists Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish, Loma, Orville Peck, etc., are doing with their sparser tracks. Lana is a fav. What a brilliant lyricist she is.”