Vocalist/bass player Monica Sottile takes us through the EP.
After a huge 12 months, which includes a stellar BIGSOUND debut, playing Laneway Brisbane and Falls Festival Lorne, picking up triple j rotation and a heap more, Brisbane trio Sweater Curse have finally dropped their debut EP, See You.
Vocalist/bass player Monica Sottile takes us through each track of the EP, which is out today.
Can't See You Anymore
I wrote the lyrics to this song while I was working at an art gallery (standing in the gallery spaces and making sure no one damaged anything) so I had a lot of time to sit and stand with my thoughts at the time. My relationship was not going well and hadn’t been for a while, and this combined with a general unsureness of what I was doing with myself made me think about what I wanted from myself and from someone else.
I guess this song outlines a bit of my thought process when trying to get myself out of a destructive rut with someone while also being scared of that person’s reactions. It felt like I was trying to get out but that I wasn’t being listened to so the ‘seeing’ in this track for me was not necessarily about dating someone but also not knowing who that person is anymore.
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Take Some Time
Take Some Time was the first song we ever wrote as a band. I think we may have even written most of it in our first and second rehearsals, and at that point we had a second guitarist Mark Rabjohns who soon became a very busy law student, which is why he isn’t still in the band. It’s funny to think what we would be like if we still have four members and often tell Mark he is our long lost member. We wrote this song in the old music block at QUT Kelvin Grove, which was soon after re-purposed for a different faculty. We always like to open with this song in our sets because we feel like it sets the tone for all our other songs, it’s the first thing we did together and I think it contextualises our band pretty well.
Z9 is our big loud song that we love to play. This song is definitely our big energy song and it was great to record with Fletch (producer Fletcher Matthews) as he really caught the emotion and drive in it. One of my favourite things to do when we practice this song is to sing all the lyrics at the same time as Chris but really high-pitched and thinly and see how long he can last without laughing. We have fun and we also ROCK!
The opening line to this song is a real thing that happened. Ages ago, when the band was still in its first year or maybe just out of its first year, I had a dream that Rei and I were planning something in my old room at my parent’s house but we were both feeling really sad and confused so we cut open Rei’s head to see what was going on. It was pretty scary when I woke up, but when it was happening in the dream Rei wasn’t hurt at all it was just a totally normal thing to do. So obviously after having that dream I psycho-analysed myself and my life and in the context of how I was feeling, it made sense that I was desperately trying to understand other people in my dream because my close relationships at the time seemed so weird and unreal. I guess that’s what gaslighting does to you!
While we were recording Mon’s Song we all realised it was one of our favourite to play. The drums and the bass and the all of it is really driving. I wrote this song first as a solo piece for an assessment task and submitted a recorded version that is totally different to the finished Sweater Curse song. I knew when I wrote the song it was for Sweater Curse and it didn’t feel properly finished as a song without Chris and Rei. The combination of lyrical content and the way we wrote our parts around it always gets us feeling driven and energised and I’m not exactly sure why but I like it.
The songs on this EP were all written at a time when I was really struggling with an intimate relationship of mine, but I wasn’t able to, and didn’t want to, admit it to myself or to my friends. I feel like these themes come out pretty clearly in the lyrics of these songs. At the time of writing the songs, I knew there were specific events and arguments that didn’t sit right with me, but in hindsight the lyrics of these songs make it pretty clear how trapped and lost I was feeling at the time.
The nicest thing about Sweater Curse for me has always been that I’ve been able to write songs like this one with very thinly-veiled conflicting emotions with the perfect guitar lines and beats without any of us having to directly address the big meaning of it all. We all support each other and are there for each other and don’t ask questions until we’re feeling OK enough to confront the issues we write about together. I always think about how nice the band is as a support network and exercise in catharsis when I think about this song.
This was one of the first songs Chris and I worked on for Sweater Curse. When we first started talking about writing music together, I thought I was going to play keyboard and sing in the band and it wasn’t until the very first full-band practice that I found out I was going to play bass, which I love. So, when we wrote this song we were just writing with piano and guitar in a room with lots of new ideas and excitement about the new project.
I’d just watched the Studio Ghibli movie Ponyo and was thinking about the concept of knowing that one day you will have to leave something behind no matter what. I feel like writing this song helped me make peace with that idea even though at the time I didn’t realise it. I love this song and I love playing it. For at least a year, every time we practiced this song we would turn all the lights off in the rehearsal room and play the outro for so long and get a bit silly with the whole thing. We still do it all the time. It’s the best.