Have you ever gathered a few friends in one place to play some tunes? Well, Emanuel Lundgren, an uber-talented Swedish singer/songwriter, collected 29 of his closest friends to help record a few tracks back in 2005, and many of them have never left.
I’m From Barcelona, a menagerie of musicians based in Jönköping, Sweden, has been cranking out harmonious pop music since its inception a decade ago, and although the coterie of band members has swooned from the twenties to 19 current musicians, the band has not lost any of its jovial luster, and, as its recent release suggests, it has no plans for growing up.
Growing Up is For Trees, the band’s fifth studio album and first since Forever Today,which was released in 2011, is a 10-track affair featuring a diverse selection of music that will latch onto the ears of pop music lovers. Much in the vein of artists like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and even The Polyphonic Spree, I’m From Barcelona employs a wide range of instruments and sounds – from clapping to trumpets. The album’s premier track (below) is an excellent example of what I’m From Barcelona does particularly well. Instead of the wall of sound approach that many big collectives prefer to employ, I’m From Barcelona instead diversifies its musical approach, pairing a full range of vocals that stagger through the song with a consistent rhythm from guitar and percussion. The number of musicians simply leads to a fuller sound and more multifaceted vocal play. The band is so capable; it knows when to drop to fewer musicians and when to bring it all together as it does at the end of the piece in a hard-hitting collection of instruments and vocals. Oh yeah, the video is also pretty cool.
Other tracks to listen to on the new album are “Benjamin” and “Departure,” two songs that feature an agglutination of voices that is powerful and calls back to the band’s initial tracks back on its first few albums. “Benjamin” features a vocal call-back paired with an awesome pre-chorus breakdown that has horns, harmonies, and pretty much everything good in the music world.
In short, you should listen to this album. It is an organized frenzy of fun frisson that is fresh and full. It’s an alliteration of awesome music.