After the unintentional break from live performances we’ve all had to suffer, almost monday are back on the road and with another killer single.
almost monday are an indie-pop trio heralding from San Diego who have amazingly been on the rise since just before the pandemic hit. Not even COVID can slow down these extraordinary rockers.
The trio have just released their new single, sunburn, which is a perfectly funky, shimmering tune just in time for the American summer.
If, like us, you’re stuck down under and Winter is coming, don’t fear. Steal a moment of sunshine or just close your eyes and pump this tune, you’ll be transported straight back to those warm, bright summer days.
We caught up with the fellas from almost monday, Dawson, Cole and Luke and they told us all about their writing style, the incredible non-stop journey to being global superstars and of course, their brand new single sunburn.
HAPPY: Hey, guys. How are you?
DAWSON: Doing great. How are you?
HAPPY: That’s good, I’m good thanks. So congratulations on your upcoming release. Exciting times.
DAWSON: Yeah, super stoked.
HAPPY: Of course. So I want to make sure I’ve got this right, because on your Spotify, you’ve got music coming out from, like, 2020. It seems like that’s when it started, but I’m pretty sure… I did some research. And you actually started putting stuff out in early 2019, is that right?
DAWSON: Yeah. I think the summer of 2019 is when the first single came out.
HAPPY: Yeah, okay cool.
DAWSON: And we put that out independently, just by ourselves. And then we got signed. So it like kind of like came out again I guess, but yeah, that single.
HAPPY: Yeah, I thought that might be the case. What a huge time. I’m so glad to hear things just kind of snowballed. It’s so cool. It was right before the pandemic hit that things started really happening for you guys. I wonder if you found that at all discouraging or you just kind of took it as a time to be like, ‘No, we’re going to record, we’re going to release, we’re going to do our thing.’
DAWSON: Yeah. I think initially it was definitely just a huge disappointment. We were on a tour, kind of like in the middle of a tour, and it was the first time we had ever done a tour, obviously outside of San Diego or California. And we were just having so much fun and everything. And I think, yeah, just pretty huge disappointment of just like, ‘wait, South by Southwest is not happening. This festival is not happening. The tour is not happening’, you know.
And then I just remember that time being so uncertain, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, I think everything this year is cancelled.’ So it was just like, yeah, discouraging at first for sure. But at the same time, we were able to write a lot of new music and put new stuff out. So for us, it was kind of the time for us to get a few songs out so people could even discover us.
HAPPY: Of course, it’s got to be jarring though to not even be able to fully get in the swing of things.
DAWSON: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
HAPPY: You’ve handled it well and you’ve certainly still been doing amazingly. Like, how the heck did you all feel when you found out that Sophie Tucker was going to remix one of your songs?
DAWSON: So insane. It’s crazy.
HAPPY: So cool. Yeah, that’s such a great remix. So you guys, the three of you grew up together, right? Does this mean that you’ve all got a pretty similar taste in music, or is there some wild disparity between your music tastes that would shock me?
DAWSON: I’d say we all have pretty unique music tastes, but I think we all at the same time listen to similar things. You know, we were just saying in another interview, it’s like with Spotify and like the streaming world, there’s just so much music to be consumed that it’s hard to not have a lot of different things and people you’re influenced by or just listening to in general.
HAPPY: Yeah, that’s so fair. So there’s no band or song that only one of you really likes that the others disagree about? Anything totally opinion splitting?
DAWSON: I don’t think like any of that, we’re all like, ‘dude, I hate that’, but…
HAPPY: That’s good to hear. You all work together quite well and like Dawson, you’re on vocals. So I guess the assumption is that you would do most of the writing. Is that the case?
DAWSON: No, we’re all pretty instrumental in the writing process. We all play. We’re all multi-instrumentalists, I guess. So, you know, Luke might write a guitar line or Cole a bass line. It’s pretty… we get in the studio and everybody has something to contribute or say. So we’re all very much so a part of it.
HAPPY: Does that mean that, like do you tend to find… I know some artists, they strictly start with a melody or they strictly start with a guitar riff or lyrics. Does it mean that you guys are kind of changing it up with every song?
COLE: Yeah, definitely. The process changes quite a bit, at least for this recent… the new single we’re putting out this week. That song started with a title. So we kind of have challenged ourselves to write songs in different ways. And sometimes we’ll start with, like, just a vibe that we’re going for. Sometimes we’ll do something different, start with the title, so kind of like to switch it up.
HAPPY: That’s cool. I think it shows in… you have a pretty varied style across your music. Like you’ve got a song for every mood so far. It’s really cool. Yeah, on the track that’s coming out this week though, sunburn, that’s awesome to hear that you started with the title because it’s such a classic summer tune, right?
HAPPY: Did you purposely time the release for the summer, summer in America, of course?
DAWSON: I think, yeah, probably, probably, yeah. You know, but like at the same time there are a lot of different variables in like when to release and everything. But no, this one felt pretty intentional to have it be around summer. Basically went around that to say yes.
HAPPY: I’m glad I read that right. It’s really nice because it’s obviously going into winter here in Australia. So yeah, I’ll close my eyes and pretend it’s warm, it’s the perfect tune. Cole, the intro to sunburn. I am guessing it was your doing, but it’s got a really psychedelic feel and it’s kind of different to what I’ve heard with your other self. Were you listening to anything new? Was anything new influencing you?
COLE: Yeah, we were just like, I don’t know, messing around with a lot of, like, cool tones. Me and our producer, Simon, just like to mess around with a lot of different pedals he has. And I think that guitar line kind of kick-started the song a little bit into the chorus. And yeah, I guess we’re always just exploring new sounds and stuff and drawing from influences, like whoever we’re listening to at the moment and stuff.
HAPPY: Yeah, that’s cool. I like it. I think it’s really cool to see that in a band in the earlier days, just getting to play with so many different things and figure out what you love and what you’re great at. And Luke, I don’t actually specifically have a question for you about this bassline. I just wanted to say that, oh my God. I think it’s so easy for bass to kind of be understated while just keeping it together, but you really found a way to stand out in the track. So…
LUKE: Thank you.
DAWSON: I would say the bass lines of almost monday music are always the centrepiece, the bass is pretty… a lot of our songs have insanely great bass parts.
HAPPY: Yeah, they really do. Very groovy. It makes me want to dance. So who did the backing vocals for this? Is it all of you singing or what’s the go?
DAWSON: I just, yeah, can kind of make my voice sound, like, different to sometimes make it feel like, you know, sometimes try to sound like a mini choir behind it so you’ll just hit like crazy falsetto. I would be horrified to hear the backing vocals soloed and just hearing it. I’m sure it’s… I’m glad they’re tucked behind, but yeah, it’s basically just tucked behind it.
HAPPY: Woah, so it’s all you.
DAWSON: Some gangs too. We’ll all get in the session and off the mic just throw in some gangs to filter in the back as well.
HAPPY: Yeah, okay. Well, it sounds fantastic. I’m going to have to wrap things up, but I wanted to ask if there are any gigs you guys would like to plug?
DAWSON: We’re just excited about the new single. It’s coming out this week. It’s really exciting to be in Australia while that’s happening and yeah, we’re just super grateful and awesome.
HAPPY: It’s exciting to have you on the road again. It’s great.
DAWSON: Thank you.
HAPPY: No worries. Well, I will leave you all to it, but thank you so much for speaking with me.
DAWSON: Of course. Thank you.
COLE: Thank you.
sunburn is out now.
Interview by Chloe Maddren.