Barcelona – Please Don’t Go

July 18, 2009

Today’s MSMOTD

Barcelona – Please Don’t Go (buy this song)

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Can you have too much of a good thing?  I’m a big fan of Piano-Rock ala Coldplay, Keane etc, and Barcelona is one of the newest and most talented entries into this genre.  They’re from Seattle and were originally just one dude – Brian Fennell – who writes the bulk of the music.  I guess he decided that being just one person sucked and so now there are more, as you can see from the picture below (every band needs a lumberjack).  Their music floats around the same realm as the aformention Coldplay and Keane, with hints of Radiohead, Death Cab and Copeland.  Wavering vocals swirl over top of insistent piano chords, growing into big-melody choruses with strings, swaggering drum beats and softly jangling guitar.  I really like their melodic turn of phrase, so to speak.  The MSMOTD especially goes places that I didn’t anticipate on first listen, which is a nice surprise.

Things cropped out: Axe, Workman boots, Big Blue Cow

Things cropped out: Axe, Workman boots, Big Blue Cow

My very first experience with Barcelona was actually quite magical.  It was through the video below, taken at the Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, the second largest in the world.  I listened to Please Don’t Go as I watched the gorgeous video and was entirely entranced by the combination.  I immediately went and searched out the rest of their music.  It’s odd, because I’ve been reading reviews of the album, and they all list different songs as the “standout tracks”.  This is a good sign for an album, since if every review agrees on the best 2 or 3 songs, then it’s likely that the rest of the album is rather weak in comparison.  Anyways, none of the albums list THIS song as a standout track, but after many listens to the album, it has remained as my favourite.  It’s lovely, delicate, and earnestly emotional.  The melody takes some unexpected turns that add to the haunting beauty that shimmers throughout the song.  The other songs are great, but it’s this stripped down naked melody which hits me the most.  Watch the video. In HD if you can.

Kuroshio Sea – 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

It’s About Time is the single from the album, and it’s definitely one of the best.  It really reminds me of Keane’s “Under The Iron Sea” album.  In fact, if you told me this was the new Keane track, I would probably believe it.  Check it out below, along with First Floor People, which has a Radiohead vibe and makes interesting and effective use of silence and a sparse arrangement which slowly builds to a strong crescendo.  The whole album is really good with no weak tracks.  If you are at all into the bands mentioned above, you will love the album.

Let me know what you think of the music in the comments!  Also, look for the results of the contest tomorrow.  One more day to get in your suggestions!

- Mons

More music from Barcelona

Barcelona – It’s About Time (buy this song)

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Barcelona – First Floor People (buy this song)

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Further info about today’s MSMOTD

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/barcelona

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona_(indie_rock_band)

Featured Review: Betty Wong’s review of “Absolutes” on blogcritics.org

Support the artist (and me!) by buying the album “Absolutes” from Amazon.com.  There are also links to buy each of the embedded songs above.

4 Responses to “Barcelona – Please Don’t Go”

  1. I loved the MSMOTD, and really really liked Barcelona as a band a lot. About “Please Don’t Go”, it’s amazing how something so simple can be so powerful. I think this is the best song (outside of any of the ones you’ve written) on the whole site. The aquarium was very beautiful and breathtaking, but in all honesty, the song itself is almost more powerful.There’s a simplicity yet also a richness, especially when the orchestral part begins, that make this song nearly perfection.
    “It’s About Time” is very lyrically interesting and another example of this band’s great sound. I love Copeland, but what I love about Barcelona is their intimate, phone-conversation closeness like Copeland, but with the strong vocals I think Copeland tends to lack.
    I liked “First Floor People” for a different reason. The lyrics are so emotionally charged and that’s what I really love about Barcelona. It’s very melancholy, but who doesn’t feel that way sometimes? Sometimes we need a song to express exactly how we are feeling, and this is a perfect song for one of those times. Very good choice.

  2. Glad you liked the song/video. I’ve been watching it continuously for almost a week now. It’s such a good pairing of music/imagery. I absolutely love it.

    It’s made me both want to go to an aquarium and get the album.

  3. I went to their concert here in Dallas last night based on the fact that I saw the aquarium video last week and immediately bought their album on iTunes. They were great, gracious and cool. I hope they find continued success.

  4. oh my gosh, by far my new favorite band. ever. <3