All-women trios are a rare and precious thing in country music. The Chicks, Pistol Annies, SHEdaisy, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris; they might not come along that often, but when they do, they come around with a force unlike any other.
Add to that modest list Remember Monday, the British country trio made up of Lauren Byrne, Holly-Anne Hull and Charlotte Steele. With almost 400k followers on TikTok and an enormous 20 million views across the channel, it’s fair to say they’re already shaking things up in the same way as their country trio foremothers. Like when the Ghostbusters cross the streams of their proton beams, there’s something about the way their harmonies fuse into each other that creates something universally explosive when they sing together.
The group originally found fame in the quarter-finals of the BBC television show The Voice where they controversially chose to perform their own original song ‘Jailbreaker’ instead of a cover song. Hellbent on blazing their own trail from the off, the British public took to social media to applaud the band’s brave choice. Remember Monday went on to pick up the award for Best Group at the British Country Music Awards that same year.
Their debut EP, Hysterical Women, is a joyful riot of feminist country pop that sounds like a cross between Destiny’s Child and Carrie Underwood. From the finger-clicking, eye-rolling takedown of a sexist sleazeball on the title track to voicing their frustrations with enduring misogynist micro-aggressions in ‘Nothing Nice to Say’, Remember Monday sugar their politics with an empowering pop country gloss.
They sing the kind of songs you’ll want to have blasting in your headphones on the train home after a shitty day at work; the same songs that you and your friends will be dancing drunkenly around the kitchen to at house parties on the weekend and belting at the top of your voices on the night bus home.
Their songs are righteous, no-fucks-given fourth wave feminist anthems to a generation of women for whom personal self-empowerment has become supercharged with contemporary gender politics.
“As women, we frequently feel like we can’t say enough without saying ‘too much,’” they explain. “Collectively, we have learned so many lessons living as women in this world. Jennifer Hudson, our former coach on The Voice, empathises with the message of ‘Nothing Nice to Say’ and helped us fund our music video for the song - her support has been amazing. When Jennifer Hudson takes a vested interest in the projects you’re working on, you know it will be an exciting release!”
Provocative in the face of judgment, Remember Monday are self-sufficient, self-motivated and self-made country pop stars sent to earth to call times up on a male-dominated music factory. If Laura Bates, Dolly Alderton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge formed a country band it might sound something like Remember Monday.
The trio met at Farnborough Sixth Form College in 2012 and have been singing together ever since, forming Remember Monday in 2018 and appearing on The Voice a year later. Lauren is currently playing Miss Honey in the West End production of Matilda. Her previous credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella and Six The Musical, while Holly is currently playing Christine Daaé in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera. Her previous credits include Les Misérables and Loserville. Charlotte is currently the Deputy Head of Artemis College - a performing arts sixth form - and also works as a freelance choreographer.
Holler sat down with Remember Monday to talk about how they got together, their debut EP and what would be on their Holler mixtape.
Where are you from and how did that influence you?
We’re all from the Surrey and Hampshire area, where there’s not much of a nightlife or music scene if we’re honest! But we did live near enough to London that we could head into town and watch concerts at the O2 and Wembley as we were growing up, and that was clearly a big motivator for all of us - I think we all individually dreamed of standing on those arena stages one day!
What did all you grow up listening to?
Lauren: A little bit of everything really! My mum would absolutely always have music blasting in the living room, it was very common to be woken up to the sound of Anastacia’s ‘I’m Outta Love’, or Olivia Newton John’s ‘Xanadu’! But I was a die-hard Swiftie from the moment I heard ‘Love Story’, and quickly fell in love with the whole country genre as a result. Taylor led me onto artists like Alison Krauss, The Chicks, Shania Twain, and our lord and saviour: Dolly Parton. They all kickstarted my love of writing lyrics that tell stories.
Holly: I grew up listening to a lot of different things - my parents are huge Eagles fans, so they were ALWAYS on in the house. I loved bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Corrs and had an obsession with singing harmonies along to everything and anything on the radio! I think I was always destined to be in a harmony-based band!
Char: I listened to loads of different music growing up! I loved the big belt singers like Celine Dion and Jennifer Hudson. I especially loved the country artists that had pop influences and massive voices such as Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. Their powerful voices with the country twang was everything I wanted to sound like. They were my idols when I was small and still are to this day.
How did the band form?
We met in 2012 at Farnborough Sixth Form College; we were in the same Performing Arts class! We sang together constantly; we’d miss lessons to sit in an empty classroom and work out new arrangements, and when our teachers would knock on the door and ask us if we were coming to class that day, we’d basically just tell them we were fine where we were and we’d catch up with them next week! They were pretty cool teachers and didn’t seem to mind too much.
A few years after we started singing together, Lauren brought an original song to the other two girls and asked if they wanted to try it as a band, and that was when we started to really find our sound. We had all listened to different artists in the country genre growing up, and now you could hear them all coming out as soon as the music we worked on was our own. We never intentionally tried to fit into the country genre, it was just a natural fit for us.
How would you describe your sound?
I think we definitely have those country elements, but there’s also rock and pop inspired sounds in there too. What’s always consistent is our love of intricate harmonies, so we let the genre determine itself as we focus on the storytelling and the vocal arrangement!
Tell us a little bit about all the songs on Hysterical Women?
What we love about this EP is that each song is like a snapshot of our lives over the last 5 years. The songs were all written at different times between 2018 and 2022, but they all share the same message of female empowerment. Some feel frustrated, some feel uplifting, and we love that this theme has been a constant in our lives and in our work since we first started putting out music in 2018. All the songs fit together, despite being written so far apart, and we want to keep spreading that message of female joy and empowerment in our future releases.
What inspires you?
We’re inspired by other artists - we love listening to music and lyrics, and wishing we’d written them first! We take inspiration from the people around us - the majority of the songs Lauren has written have been about experiences her friends or family have been through, as well as things she’s been through herself. We inspire each other; in writing sessions or arrangement sessions we are constantly building on the thoughts of each other - someone will have an idea, which unlocks a new thought in someone else, which leads to a new idea for someone else, and so on! We’re constantly on the lookout for things that could inspire new music!
What made you decide to cover Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’?
Tik Tok made us do it! It was a totally innocent little 20 second cover of the song that we did for fun in a car park in lockdown, and all of a sudden it had gone viral, and people were demanding a full-length version! Brian May even shared the video to his instagram account! We couldn’t not…
If you were going to make a mixtape for Holler listeners what songs would be on it?
Remember Monday - Nothing Nice To Say
Maren Morris - Girl
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
Lauren Alaina - Doin’ Fine
Kelsey Ballerini - Blindsided
Taylor Swift - Anti Hero
Remember Monday - Let Down
Ashley Mcbride - Girl Goin’ Nowhere
Cam - Girl Like Me
Miley Cyrus - Flowers
The Chicks - Sleep At Night
Shania Twain - Man I Feel like a Woman
Remember Monday - Where To Start
Brandi Carlisle - The Story
Tennille Townes - Somebody’s Daughter
Lauren Alaina - Gettin’ Good
Remember Monday - Jailbreaker
Maren Morris - Better Than We Found It
Martina Mcbride - This One’s For The Girls
Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
The Chicks - Gaslighter
Megan McKenna - Ruin Your Night
Taylor Swift (& HAIM) - No Body No Crime
Remember Monday - Hysterical Women
HAIM - Gasoline
Kacey Musgraves - Breadwinner
Kelsey Ballerini - Penthouse
Tensile Townes - Where You Are
Fleetwood Mac - Dreams
Cam - Village
Taylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute Version)
Trousdale - Always, Joni
Lisa Wright - Tennessee
Jillian Jacqueline - Reasons
Kacey Musgraves - Oh, What a World
Daddy Lessons - Beyonce (feat. The Chicks)
Remember Monday - Fat Bottomed Girls
What’s your all time favourite country song?
Lauren: ‘Village’ by Cam
Holly: ‘Follow Me’ by Uncle Cracker
Charlotte: ‘Take Your Time’ by Sam Hunt
If you could time travel back to any time when would you travel back to?
We were going to answer this separately but we all said the 70s. Everything about that time just looks so appealing - the fashion, the music, the lifestyle! We definitely feel like we were born in the wrong decade.
Which person from history would you most like to meet?
To be honest, I think we’d all keel over if we were able to sit in a room for even just an hour with Dolly Parton.
What would be your Spice Girls style nicknames?
Holly would be Baby, Char would be Posh, and Lauren would be Ginger!
What’s next for you?
Oh gosh, we have so many plans in the pipeline. We’re hoping to have at least two other releases this year, but we won’t give too much away there yet! We’re also currently planning a trip to Nashville, as we’ve never been out there before and every single person who hears us play practically screams at us to get out there! There are a few other things up our sleeves for the end of the year, but we’re not giving away all our secrets yet!
Hysterical Women is out now. Listen to Remember Monday's Women In Country Holler Playlist here.