Catalonia is a truly beautiful and unique recording that really highlights the distinct difference between music that is simply music and music that is something much more deeply artistic. The soundscape from the very first moment sets a certain mood that transcends that of any simple song. It feels almost as if an age old classic story or poem has been set to a sublime and somehow cinematic backdrop, despite the lack of a visual aid. The lyrics for me were lost in a haze of imagery and experience at first, but the more you listen, the more the story unfolds, and a personal side to it all does begin to show itself, though that mystery and that unusual ambiance remain.
The recording is stunning, the vocal performance is gentle yet powerful, and the music has this organic strength that feels like a dramatic meeting between instruments and even certain periods of time. The percussion element brings something much more industrial to the mix, and the structure of the track really draws your focus to each of these intense, theatrical moments in a way that makes the emotion of everything shine unconditionally. There are certain riffs throughout, that particular shuffle of the rhythm in the opening few bars, the subtlety of the strings – the piece is essentially a perfectly crafted arrangement of singular, minimalist moments, which, together, make for something quite remarkable.
It definitely feels as if it could be the unforgettable soundtrack to some groundbreaking new film or piece of theatre. The whole things stands out from so much of modern music, in a number of different ways, yet never due to anything that doesn’t work or doesn’t fit or tries too hard to be different. It’s a brilliantly written piece of music and lyricism, well performed, just with that little extra something special to really make it glow.
By Rebecca Cullen
Rebecca is a Musician and writer from Manchester, UK, with an MA in Song Writing.
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