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“More is more” is as good a motto as any for a band whose number have at times topped out at 29 – the sort of lineup that could even make the gargantuan stage at Radio City Music Hall feel cozy. Not that I’m From Barcelona have played New York’s legendary art deco palace, not yet anyway. But if the sprawling Swedes keep turning out records as sunny and hard to resist as their latest, Forever Today, who knows? And to be fair, I’m From Barcelona’s numbers aren’t always that large. On a recent Swedish TV appearance they performed at a lean and mean dozen members. On the other hand, earlier in the year the captain of the IFB ship, Emanuel Lundgren, managed to put together a special night in which the band joined up with the 25-member symphony orchestra in their hometown of Jönköping, for a truly special night of songs old and new.
Highlights of that performance can be seen on the band’s website, including a soaring, glistening rendition of “Always Spring”, a standout from Forever Today that embraces the sunshine and runs with it, reminding us in the hook line that “somewhere it’s always spring” and there’s nothing wrong with that. The rest of the album – inhabiting a place where Matt & Kim, Los Campesinos! and Broken Social Scene intersect – is equally upbeat. There’s the opener, “Charlie Parker”, which exhorts the legend to “c’mon now, sing to me now, Bird!”, the horn-flourished title track, the tinkling piano and hand claps of “Skipping a Beat” and stand up and cheer vibe of “Dr. Landy” – this is a record designed to induce grins. Even the more defiant tracks are chipper – “Come On” sticks it to the man in a friendly way, and while “Get in Line” summons the joyful chant “we don’t want to get in line!” Who would, when spring is here, there’s fun to be hand, and I’m From Barcelona have delivered the ready made soundtrack for it?
How about you? Can you get into the Swedes’ brand of ‘Up with People’? Check out twee pop’s ode to living in the moment, Forever Today, and tell Noisevox what you think of the latest from I’m From Barcelona!