Band of the hour: Catalonia
What do George Orwell, David Bowie and break-ups have in common? That would be Catalonia.
By Vanessa Garcia
A band named after George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia - an account of the Spanish Civil War. An album called An Island is Land - crafted out of a break-up. Sounds like catastrophe. But, actually, these are the inspirations and creations of Catalonia, a four-man band bred in South Florida, about to take their album on a self-booked tour of the states. And, as for the sound, it's much less like catastrophe and more like New Wave Romanticism.
When listening, think of Depeche Mode, mixed with the dandy, debonair vocals of late British Punk. You might even hear a little David Bowie in there, mixed with U2, a dash of the Pixies and a slice of Radiohead mixed in as... vengeance. Both Chris Horgan (keyboards, guitar, harmony) and Evan Rowe (vocals, guitar, lyrics) were coming out of long and winding break-ups when they set their feelings to music and recorded An Island is Land, released in 2007.
"The album allowed me to musically communicate what I [couldn't] say in real life, and never did say," says Rowe. With lyrics that range from "you're too good for me" to "if you're going to leave, you best do it now" to "did you think it was real? It was something to touch, it was something to feel," seems like Rowe and Horgan, along with the rest of band (Ed Malone on drums, Mike Johnson on bass), were drifting at sea until they set it all to music, and found the land that is their island.