Cat and The Queen has released her first single of 2021, “Lonesome Flame.” “Lonesome Flame” is the second single to come off her upcoming album, I Caught A Fish, dropping at the end of February 2021.
“This song entertains the idea of making friends with loneliness. How do we welcome it? How do we avoid it? Can we give it a seat at our breakfast table? Perhaps a cup of tea? When we openly commune with loneliness, she ceases to be a threat. Instead, she is given the space and permission to morph into quite a sweet companion; and in this case, she morphed into this song.” – Cat and The Queen
Cat wrote this song as if she were conversing with the personification of Loneliness, in which Cat learns to befriend it and hopes listeners will do the same. Produced mostly by CATQ herself and co-produced, mixed and mastered with longtime music collaborator and Juno Award-nominated producer, Alex Gamble. Backed by a simple percussion beat, the track quickly builds with the addition of bass plucking, sensual vocals, piano playing, and background chanting.
Cat and The Queen (CATQ) is the name that embodies both Cat Montgomery, Toronto-based singer-songwriter, and her beloved keyboard whom she calls adoringly, “The Queen.” Playing piano from a very young age, CATQ combines her musical skill with her work as a theatre artist to make each song she creates a raw and visceral experience. Two albums later, and many electrifying stage shows under her belt, Cat and The Queen is a musical and theatrical outfit that serves as an outlet to create and perform, in motion, stories of the heart.
Hi Cat, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Well, in the grand scheme of things, pretty great. I have a roof over my head and a lot of time on my hands and I’ve had the LUXURY of making art and living a simple life over the last year of the pandemic town. People have really suffered a lot of loss. I consider myself pretty goddamn lucky – my expenses are low and so i hustle a living by cleaning houses and working random art gigs. not bad. And, and, AND – I’m really excited to be releasing this new album, I Caught A Fish end of February – and even closer excitement is the release of my second single, “Lonesome Flame”. It’s got this insanely cool visual companion music video created by the production team Mom’s Big Tub. Anywho…lots to be thankful for, in my world.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lonesome Flame”?
Yes! So… during the summer months of Covid I isolated, alone, in a small cabin in northern Ontario – about three hours north of Toronto. It was just the woods, my keyboard and I… and some low-fi recording gear. On one of my regular morning walks, something really struck me… it was wild… I was walking down this hill and I had this strange, thick feeling I wasn’t alone. And there it was. I could see the playful and teasing nymph like a ghost of Loneliness peaking around the trees. I’m not kidding. I was like, woah, Loneliness is coming for me. And I was scared. And what did I do? I went into the cabin, and started writing a poem. Little did I know this poem was in fact an INVITATION — an invitation for Loneliness to come inside and have a meal and a rest and the opportunity to be SEEN. And did she ever speak up. She manifested into this here song and she, in the many songs that I have, is certainly one of my favourites. Loneliness when given the permission to shift, gracefully finds its way to Solitude. xo
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Oh yes — described above — I felt the waves of Loneliness come upon me. And I was lucky LUCKY to have the space and the means to morph it into a creative piece… sometimes, you know, Loneliness can request many things from us; perhaps it’s the binge watching of a tv series, very long naps, ice cream binge attack, a desperate and heavy handed phone call… in this case, she showed herself as a song. And again, she is one of my favourites.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Ooof… I am very LUCKY to say I have some goddamn talented art and film friends. The production team of MOM’S BIG TUB are personal friends of mine, and they dug the song “Lonesome Flame” and wanted to make a music video. The process was super independent — I did a bit of filming with my iPhone on my end — and the rest is all of their found footage. I’m so damn pleased with the finished product.
The single comes off your upcoming album I Caught A Fish – what’s the story behind the title?
Ya know, I went through all of my lyrics in all of the songs, and the imagery of I Caught a Fish came from one of the tunes… I like it! Like, the image of being out in the middle of a lake, alone, and boom, with some patience and work I caught something that will feed me and sustain me. That’s really how I feel about music and art creation — it’s nourishment and adventure and sustenance.
How was the recording and writing process like?
Very, very organic — all of it. See, before the Pandemic hit the world, I was supposed to be on tour on the East Coast of Canada. That was the plan. And then, like everyone else, plans had to change. So, instead of it being a summer of Output — performing — it became a summer of songwriting and exploring. This album is very low-fi and eclectic — I think of it as a collection of polaroid snapshots. And then of course, I collaborated with Alex Gamble, my producer, yet again! I’ve worked with him on three albums now and simply adore him. I leave it to him to mix / master and offer nuanced contributions that heighten the overall piece without manipulating it too much.
What role does Toronto play in your music?
Hmm… aside from living in Parkdale, not too much. I mean, I definitely miss performing at my favourite music venue, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, annnnd, I miss going out to see LIVE MUSIC. Boy, do I ever… but to be honest, a lot of my favourite song creations happen when I’m out of the city, in nature, by water, alone.
What aspect of friendship and loneliness did you get to explore on this record?
Great question. Friendship and Loneliness. You know, I think we CAN make friends with Loneliness and when that happens, Solitude is the bi-product. As Patti Smith says, “Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.” I like that quote so much. And also, though COVID has made collaborations look a bit different than how maybe we’ve done them in the past, it’s also been kind of awesome. One of my other favourite songs off the album is called “Cabin Fever” and I made that with my talented dear friend Matthew Parker, who is based in England. . . THE POWERS OF THE INTERNET!
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Let’s see. . . heartbreak, social and racial injustice, scary spiders, activism, masterbation, celebration, isolation anxiety, imaginative tangents. . . the usual 😉
What else is happening next in Cat and The Queen’s world?
Well… The release of I Caught A Fish comes out February 26th and super excited for that! There will be another music video release for three more songs off the album: “Want”, “Haunted World”, “Cabin Fever”. I am making a MUSICAL KIDS SHOW called, “Cat in Space!” with my love and THAT is gonna be bomb. I’m cooking up some theatre art projects and a couple of screenplays. Every Sunday at 10am on IGTV I host a playful CATQ morning talk show (check it out!) with various guests of all walks of life . . . what else? Nap taking, cooking good food, walking by the Toronto waterfront, talking to my niblings whom I love, taking hot baths, making love, taking names, cleaning toilets to pay rent, practicing scales, taking selfies, promoting art, painting my nails. Engaged in active addiction recovery, connecting with loved ones, listening to diverse and interesting podcasts, and getting present and thankful.
xo cat and the queen