I’m From Barcelona

17 09 2009

Today, Chris is gonna talk at you about a dank group. They’re called I’m From Barcelona. Get schooled, children.

Hello, everybody. Once again, Alexei is handing over his blog to me. The people spoke, and they said, “We want someone who is musically inept to offer his obnoxious opinions on some obscure, foreign indie band!” Luckily, this publication is a democratic one, so today I’m doing just that.

Let me tell you about a band named I’m From Barcelona. They’re from Sweden. Also, there are 29 of them. Their songs include various sounds made by a broad range of instruments – clarinet, saxophone, accordion, banjo, flute, and the trumpet, not to forget about mainstays guitar, drums, and keyboard. If you’re not interested yet, well, you’re just an asshole.

I'm From Barcelona 1

Their first release, Let Me Introduce My Friends, hit the United States in late 2006. This is the only album by them I own – couldn’t find a torrent for their newer album. Anyway, it’s packed to the brim with wildly catchy melodies. We’re talkin’ busted belt loops, zippers zinging, and thousands of musical notes stabbing their pointy little corners through the fabric. The song “Oversleeping” will forever remind me of working at Gap, for just that very reason (same setup two consecutive articles? I think so!). Seriously, this is a great tune for commercials or film – it’s mad uplifting, super fresh, and sports fun lyrics. “The Painter” is yet another engaging melody, mostly because it repeats the message “Don’t give up on your dreams” AND incorporates running away from the police. Double whammy. Another favorite of mine is “Chicken Pox“, which hits a soft spot with me: excellent metaphor. “You can’t have it once you’ve had it” can be applied to almost anything you want with a little imagination, and I love writing that leaves room for interpretation. Other honorable mentions from this album include “Treehouse”, “Glasses”, and pretty much every other song.

Their most recent album, which was released last October, is called Who Killed Harry Houdini?, and has received good reviews from the critics. Though I haven’t had a full listen, they have about a half dozen songs up on their MySpace, plus a couple music videos. The big single seems to be “Paper Planes”, and it is a pretty solid song. Judging from that and a couple others, the quality and inspiration seems steady between the two albums, but the song “Gunhild” turned me off some. Experimentation from experimental bands scares me, I guess. However, that track features French singer Soko, and you know what they say… 29 is company, 30’s a crowd.

I’ll give it to you straight on this one – they’re dank. If you like weird, catchy, insanely orchestral music (think Polyphonic Spree, but without the cult robes) with happy lyrics and unique observations, check them out.

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