Mon a la Cova – L’Abisme i la Font (1889 Records)
Mon a la Cova releases L’Abisme i la Font, his first solo LP after a multitude of projects. Intensity, intimacy and stylistic diversity in an album entirely in Catalan.
A previous world
Mon a la Cova, singer and musician from Barcelona, already has an extensive discography through his personal projects, collaborations and militancy in various bands. He began as a singer in Guilles Maleïdes (1992-1998), an alternative/punk/garage rock band whose EP [anul-lat] and cassette Demos ’94 we have tracked down. After them came Casual (1999-2010) and all their great repertoire of dark rock/gothic rock/deathrock that we will never tire of recommending.
Once Casual was finished, Mon started his solo project, based on electric and acoustic guitar. The first songs in this format were connected to Lou Reed (“a spontaneous homage”, according to Mon) and Kitsch (a cover of a song by the Catalan band). After them came the EP Sessions Greus (2013).
The following year (2014), Mon began to collaborate with the aforementioned Kitsch, an important reference for dark-tinged rock in Catalan. The sum of Lluís Costabella, Joan Pairó and Mon a la Cova results in Kitsch a la Cova, a game of seduction between both worlds, which is reflected in the album Kitsch a la Cova (2015) and the EP Ratificació (2018).
Between 2015 and 2019, Mon collaborated on vocals with Ulf Yong in the delirious project Replicants Anònims, a mixture of space and electronic rock, psychedelia and afterpunk materialised in the EP Duo Ortopèdic and the album Nous Republicans.
For more details about his musical biography, you can watch the video interview we did with him, including a performance (sorry, only available in Spanish and Catalan).
L’Abisme i la Font
With L’Abisme i la Font, Mon gives free rein to a variety of themes and musical styles. The lyrics in Catalan (and translated to English on the Deluxe edition of the CD) speak of people wasting their lives, dead loves, embers of hope, insurrections and much more. From a musical point of view, the album is based on Mon’s intense voice and on electric and acoustic guitars, nuanced with other instruments and voices.
We could say that, in general, L’Abisme i la Font sounds like semi-acoustic dark rock, with a slight presence of percussion. However, there is room for surprises in the twelve tracks that compose it.
The first track, Viuen, is a good introduction with a catchy chorus, simple percussion and an insistent guitar riff. With a clearly sinister and consequently vitalist essence, it is without a doubt one of my favourites.
On Boires, Mon’s voice begins to offer other, clearer registers, sounding more glam for lack of a better definition. Again, the chorus gets the glory, along with the moment when the drums kick in and pull the rest of the instruments. A good example of how to achieve intensity without resorting to stridency.
La nit de la guilla morta and Grenaa give way to the unhurried compositions, which highlight the intimacy shared in condemned relationships, and the intimacy that expresses loneliness; remains of lifeless animals and remains of ashes with embers.
With Empoderament there is a turn towards ritualistic, darkwave music, reminiscent of the catacombs of Rosa Crux and Sopor Aeternus. This is where “l’abisme i la font” (“the abyss and the font”) make their presence felt, through foreboding vocals, chiming bowls, distorted guitars and tenebrous keyboards.
Animal Negre follows the path of the previous semi-acoustic tracks. In particular, there is a balance between the melodic darkness of the verses and the greater luminosity of the choruses, reflecting the tenderness with which Mon remembers his deceased dog Lemmy. In addition, we find the backing vocals of Sandra Raak, who collaborates on three other tracks.
Unaltrapell stands out for its closer approach to the spirit of rock, without leaving aside the semi-acoustic format. The song gains intensity and ends, like others on the album, abruptly.
With Desafiament we reach the second stylistic rupture of the album, in a track that begins with a spoken word discourse and martial neo folk sonorities. When Mon starts to sing properly, the more epic side unfolds and the sensation that the rebels and oppressed have set out on the march intensifies. Probably everyone here will have their own interpretation of the lyrics: an ode to Catalan independence? to the class struggle and the struggle against the established powers? Choose your version…
We finish with the videoclip of Des de fora del món, a song that combines the rock part with the ritualistic part and takes up the theme of those who are no longer with us, and even so, they make their influence felt.
L’Abisme i la Font is an album that is not defined only by a specific style (let’s say, dark rock with gothic overtones). It sounds like Mon a la Cova and his multiple influences and tastes, sifted by the issues that drive his mind. The more you listen to it the more you like it, and that’s a good indication of its quality.
You can listen to and buy the album on Bandcamp, or order it directly from Mon at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see in the pictures, there are two different CD editions: in digipack and in a Deluxe box that includes translations of the lyrics into Spanish, English and German.