Saucy Monky’s music unfolds in layers. There’s a healthy dose of indie rock panache, a sliver of wise wit, a pinch of singer-songwriter storytelling, and some downright danceable hooks. And yet, this merely scratches the surface for the Los Angeles quartet though. The group—Irish native Annmarie Cullen [co-lead vocals/guitar ], Cynthia Catania [co-lead vocals/guitar], Steve Giles [bass], and Alexa Brinkschulte [drums]—peel away even more layers on their Trophy Girl EP series.
From the time the band was founded in 2001, Annmarie and Cynthia’s friendship has fueled the music. The girls met serendipitously as they consistently crossed paths in the city’s scene. Soon, they’d partnered up to host a weekly music night at an intimate Santa Monica pub, and naturally began writing music together.
“We’re like family,” says Annmarie of their bond. “We’ve been through it all in the past decade, but we’re still making music. We’d probably be each other’s first call in an earthquake, or if we got thrown in jail.”
Managing to keep them selves out of the slammer and surviving many earthquakes, the duo released Celebrity Trash in 2003 and Turbulence a year later. Their breakout came with the single “Disco Ball (Boulevard Remix)” which rose to the status of a bona fide Top 40 AAA hit.
Placements began rolling in, and their music was heard everywhere from Nickelodeon’s iCarly to Blue Bloods and Alcatraz as well as films, including And Then Came Lola and Amexica. However, following up 2008’s Between the Bars, Trophy Girl offers the perfect glimpse at the group’s future.
The first single “Awkward” tells a familiar tale with a sly guitar groove and a shimmering refrain. The seductive music video accompanying the track brings it to life with all of the sexy details in tact.
“It’s a scenario that everyone has experienced,” Cynthia reveals. “You go to a party and see your ex with a new flame. Your stomach sinks, and you TRY to make them jealous. You move on, but you haven’t quite moved on. The video shows that story.”
“Awkward” is just one slice of the three EPs comprising Trophy Girl though. “We wanted to keep things interesting for audience,” affirms Cynthia. “We’re releasing the pieces of this album, one at a time. Trophy Girl is actually a lyric from ‘Awkward’. So, the larger idea could be about dating a trophy girl or being one in some people’s eyes. It can be interpreted many ways.”
Live, there’s only one thing to interpret, and that’s a hell of a show. They’ve invaded Europe on tour and shared the stage with PJ Harvey, The Black Eyed Peas, P!nk, and Wilco. The chemistry between all four musicians proves infectious.
“Steve’s the calming force in the band with all of the estrogen floating around,” Annmarie continues. “Alexa, new to the band, keeps the chemistry light and fun. Originally from Bremen Germany, she maintains that European/American balance. “We do love our Foreign band members. There is amazing chemistry in Saucy Monky” Cynthia adds in. “We all believe in this band, and that’s why we do it.”
Ultimately, Saucy Monky has a lot to give within those layers. Cynthia concludes, “We put our heart and soul into bringing these songs to life. Hopefully that translates, and people will connect with them.”
Annmarie echoes that sentiment. “If our listeners feel something, that’s all we can ask for.”