International Pop Underground: Colombia's Montañera Talks About Her Magnificent New Album
When María Mónica Gutiérrez moved from Bogotá to London in 2020, it was largely to pursue her masters in social work.
Her dissertation was on the use of music and singing in social healing, a subject which holds great personal and social meaning for her.
"In Colombia, we've had a civil war for so long," Gutiérrez offers. "So, I was very interested to know if singing could be a tool for social healing in a place like Colombia, where we've been heavily impacted by war."
Upon arriving in London, though, she found herself thrown into COVID lockdowns in a town where she hardly knew anyone. Her classes all migrated online. There were no gigs, nowhere for her to build a new musical community.
Back in Colombia, Gutiérrez had a long musical history: playing in the bands Suricato and Ságan, as well as making two albums (2017's Encarnación and 2020's Salvadora) as Montañera.
Dealing with the loneliness of social isolation and expatriation, Gutiérrez turned to recording. The results are her magnificent third Montañera LP, A Flor de Piel.
Speaking to Anthony Carew on The International Pop Underground, Gutiérrez talks about making the album, its musical interplay between darkness and lightness, and how that reflects the themes of the songs.