My first encounter with “Minta &The Brook Trout” was probably the same as for many, with “Falcon” from their second full-length work, “Olympia”. A sad melancholic Pop ballad with one of their best guitar lines and a beautifully built chorus filled with harmonies from the Wind to the Strings categories. However “Minta’s” work does not resume itself to it. A project fronted by Francisca Cortesao has gathered already a dedicated audience and released their Third and Best work so far in 2016, “Slow”.
We had a talk with Francisca about it and the just released “Row”, a tiny three song Gem.
In my first personal experience as interviewer in a Skype conversation I felt for the first time uncomfortable and scared within its preparation of not being able to transmit the same relaxed environment one could have over a coffee in a Bar or in a Studio. More than that, in the other side of the screen I would have one of the most complete and renown artists in the Portuguese music scene, leading her own musical project for almost ten years and having collaborated with almost everyone she wanted (B Fachada é para Meninos, Sergio Godinho, Bruno Pernadas, Capicua, etc.) and being part of other projects like “The’ re Heading West” which has “Old Habits” in common with “Minta & The Brook Trout” as song of their unique album, which Francisca reveals us gave her even more pleasure to record with “Minta” due tot he fact that it needed way more work and dedication than with “TaHW”. When hard work proves to be more deserving.
However as soon as the connection was made all the worries went away with the easy-going personality of Francisca, a perfect reflection of her own Music. A combination of Acoustic Folk with Nostalgic Pop that ends up building itself to the most beautiful ballads is what Francisca usually composes resembling Norah Jones with the deepness of her voice and some Aimee Mann for the seductive guitar lines. Her “Partner in Crime” has been Mariana Ricardo who was produced every single album and is always the first one to hear to the first drafts of the songs.
The First Album was a second presentation of “Minta”, after the release of “You” her first EP, to the World now accompanied by her friends, and calling herself “Mint & The BrookTrout” homonymous with the first Album. The cover of this album features a Geese saluting in a porch a good metaphor for this “Porch-Geese” (Portuguese) salute to the World. Francisca has always sang in English since she started properly writing: “It just came naturally to me. I don’t like to force anything. So English it is, and it will probably be in the future of “Minta & The Brook Trout””. This Album was still described in “BandCamp” as being an Album of Minta with her band, a smooth transition as well musically speaking to what was about to happen in the second release, “Olympia”.
“I did not really love “Falcon”, however after showing to the band they really liked it. It has a bit of the good old Beatles from their beginnings. I love those”
This first album had a certain rage and anger into it that would even resemble some grunge, a comparison Francisca did not disagree with since it was that type of music that she grew up with. However she does not think about what she is creating and just loves to see the free flow of the creation happening. As well with “Olympia” and “Slow” we saw lyrics where there was a story behind it, a “Coherent Little Universe of My Own” as she puts it, where before we would have a more personal story-telling approach. When asked if in songwriting she was more fond of personal or creative story-telling “I don’t know. I really like to create those “Little Universes” however sometimes I think that those are not personal and only after sometime end up realising they were”.
In “Slow” Francisca gave her all and made an incredible eleven song tribute to IndieFolk, refining every influence one could grasp from previous works and combine it into one solid and coherent masterpiece. My favourite, with no possible comparison, is “Sand”, a perfect mood setter that has those doubled harmonic vocals perfectly matched with the subtleness of the rhythm section allowing the guitar to be the protagonist just when it has to be.
“Sand’ played only in cassetes in several environments”
Apart from Music Francisca does translation jobs, which she loves almost as much as music and she would never give up for it. “I do not like to think that Music would be my whole life. I like to have other things to get occupied with. And translation is something I always enjoyed.” I believe she might have a problem with this after the latter quality of her music! A truly talented artist that just composes compulsively for the sake of Music, she even says that “I have the same amount of fun playing in every project. “Minta” is of course my baby however every time I have a show I am equally as happy because I am doing what I love.”
With Who Would You Like To Play:
-Portugal: Zeca Afonso+ Antonio Variações (“It would be a great Mix”)