Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Audiophile: Barcelona

I often discover new music from YouTube, specifically fanvids (or fan made videos). I downloaded and saw the 2004 film Alexander (with Collin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, and Jared Leto) but the Final Cut version which is basically the uncensored 3.5 hour take of the movie. Becoming enamored with the doomed love story between Alexander (Farrell) and Hephaistion (Leto), I began searching for great fanvids dedicated to the pair. And I stumbled upon this one:

I was curious about the song because quite frankly I did like it. And at the end of the video, the creator had written down that it was entitled The Takers and was written by a band called Barcelona. Being the Curious George that I was, I researched the band. Barcelona is an indie group originating from Seattle, Washington. They said that their music is "piano-based with an element of rock" and draw inspiration from such bands as U2, Coldplay, and Death Cab for Cutie. I was surprised that they had only made one album considering how good I thought their music was. And said album is named "Absolutes".

The original release was in 2007, but in 2009 they added a couple more songs which included the one used in the Alexander fanvid. Don't be fooled, the video only utilized 2 minutes of the 4 minute song.

Listening to the entire 2009 album (yes, I downloaded it and synced it to both my iPod and my iPhone), I was hooked because their melodies and lyrics both evoke feelings of pain, longing, love, and youthful passions that often plague today's generation of young people without being overly angry or angsty. Barcelona's songs are by no means "emo". It makes me imagine couples from a small, suburban or working class town rather than jilted teenagers who have resorted to wearing all black as an outward sign of hatred for love. Although some might find that their songs to be too "Vampire Diaries montage"-ish like when the pair is separated by unforeseen forces. I don't know if someone would have a problem with that, but I certainly do not. I have become such a fan of theirs because it is a rarity in today's musicsphere to have a band or artist compile a set of songs that are contemporary and at the same time their lyrics tell a story or give their listeners something "concrete" to imagine. For me as a writer of fiction, I draw inspiration from music and the meaning the words contain to draw out a sequence for the plot because it allows me to imagine the scenario through the lyrics. For the most part, Barcelona's songs have done it for me.

The band has a small following and I wished that they had really broken out into mainstream media. It's music like theirs that would make me want to watch MTV more often, rather than skip it because of all the Bieber, Rihanna, and KPop videos they'd rather air. Then again MTV was never really for the indie crowd. Now that Barcelona has ended their songwriting, it makes me very curious as to "What could have been" for them.


The Takers
Please Don't Go
Falling Out Of Trees
Come Back When You Can

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