More cello, please.
January 3, 2010 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for songs similar to Cello Song by Vast, Glass Vase Cello Case by Tattle Tale, and Great Escape by Moby. Basically, songs with prominent cello and with a darker feel to them. I'm not looking for all-cello/string bands, such as Apocalyptica and Break of Reality.
posted by biochemist to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
There's always Nick Drake's Cello Song.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:30 AM on January 3, 2010

How about Nick Drake's Cello Song?
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:30 AM on January 3, 2010

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:39 AM on January 3, 2010

I know you said not all cello... but how about cello multiplied by a looper?
posted by fake at 9:45 AM on January 3, 2010

I know this is off target - but the Bach Cello Suites are some of the best, and will certainly capture some of that sound you like.
posted by ecorrocio at 9:46 AM on January 3, 2010

Cursive has cello on at least one of their albums, some cello-y songs I'm partial to-- Driftwood: A Fairytale, The Recluse, Art is Hard, Sierra, Fairytales Tell Tales, and Sinner's Serenade.

I recommend finding these otherwise than youtube if possible since the low bandwidth does especially bad things to their songs qualitywise.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:58 AM on January 3, 2010

Oh the album those are mostly off of is "The Ugly Organ," the EP "Burst and Bloom" also has cello on it, their other albums don't, but are also excellent and have a similar sound sans-cello.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:59 AM on January 3, 2010

You might enjoy Bonfire Madigan, which is the solo(?) work of Madigan Shieve, one of two women who formed Tattle Tale.
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:06 AM on January 3, 2010

Badly Draw Boy's The Shining?
posted by mumkin at 10:06 AM on January 3, 2010

Bonfire Madigan! "Mad Skywriting" is a personal favorite.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:07 AM on January 3, 2010

Badly Drawn Boy, that is. Badly typed.
posted by mumkin at 10:07 AM on January 3, 2010

(sorry spelled her last name wrong: Madigan Shive)
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:09 AM on January 3, 2010

The Instruments.
posted by misteraitch at 10:19 AM on January 3, 2010

Patrick Wolf is amazing and uses cello on the songs-- To the Lighthouse off of his album Lycanthropy definitely has cello. The wonderful album "The Magic Position" also features cello in the credits, but I'm not good enough at singling out instruments to tell you which songs definitely have it compared to other deep string instruments he may be using. The sound of dark modern not only cello music you're looking for can definitely be found in his music. The Libertine, Hard Times, and Damaris are all wonderful songs that have a sound you might like (not positive each has cello).

He also uses violins, violas, baritone ukelele, and many other interesting instruments in his electronic focused music that create a wonderful, wonderful sound that might be described as
anachronistic, but as a compliment.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:27 AM on January 3, 2010

Nirvana - Something in the Way
posted by Sys Rq at 10:37 AM on January 3, 2010

Damien Rice has some songs with gorgeous cello (by Vyvienne Long), especially on the album O.
posted by sively at 11:34 AM on January 3, 2010

Obligatory link to Quebecois singer Jorane, who is primarily known as a singing cellist, I guess you could say.
posted by Rumple at 11:42 AM on January 3, 2010

Anastasia - At the Restaurant, from the movie Before the Rain. You can listen to a sample on Amazon.
posted by gakiko at 12:03 PM on January 3, 2010

I highly recommend Hildur Guðnadóttir and her new album "Without Sinking"

Gorgeous dark ambient, and at least when I saw her live, all done solo through loops etc.

Here's a youtube video to give you a better taste for her sound.
posted by bonsai forest at 1:36 PM on January 3, 2010

I really like SonVer. Their frontwoman, Jo, is a fantastic cellist. MySpace here. "Vigil" is just cello loops, but everything else is percussion + ambient sound + cello.

Also, the song Pavane off the Orlando film soundtrack is a strings-and-percussion setting of the French song Belle qui tiens ma vie, and I really like it.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:10 PM on January 3, 2010

Not sure if it's too rockin' for this purpose, but: AC Newman's "The Town Halo."

Mountain Goats, "Dilaudid."

Alejandro Escovedo, "Dear Head on the Wall."

The Left Banke, "Pretty Ballerina" and I think "Walk Away Renee."
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:29 PM on January 3, 2010

Book of My Life by Sting has a solo cello introduction, and some more cello that weaves in and out. Cello is not present throughout the entire song, but I thought of it when I read this question.
posted by eleyna at 3:39 PM on January 3, 2010

(I am about to recommend the music of a friend of mine.)

Mark Growden's Saint Judas has a bunch of excellent songs with cello. His cellist Alex Kelly is extraordinary. I wouldn't say that the album is cello focused, but the songs Delilah, If the Stars Could Sing, Coyote and Inside Every Bird have quite a bit of very prominent cello.

It's sorta not available yet (nationwide release/push in spring), but memail me and we can work something out.
posted by mollymayhem at 3:57 PM on January 3, 2010

Max Richter I would definitely recommend, his music is very similar to the basis of the songs you linked to, but not quite the same, as no singing... also, this question, and the elicited answers, are awesome.
posted by infinite intimation at 5:00 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Big Sleep by Murder By Death (one of my very favorite songs; heartbreaking)
posted by aquanet at 5:36 PM on January 3, 2010

Rasputina - Wish You Were Here (yes, a Pink Floyd cover)
posted by saveyoursanity at 8:09 PM on January 3, 2010

Arthur Russell. When he wasn't making dance music he was making wonderful, sparse pop songs/compositions: Eli, A Little Lost, This Is How We Walk on the Moon
posted by hydrophonic at 9:01 PM on January 3, 2010

Mark O'Connor's Appalachian Waltz performed by Yo-Yo Ma is perhaps the most beautiful piece of sound ever produced. You can watch it with horrible sound quality on this YouTube clip or listen to a nice sample on iTunes. It's from the album Solo.
posted by neuron at 10:07 PM on January 3, 2010

Caetano Veloso has worked with cellist and arranger Jaques Morelenbaum quite a bit, starting in the 90s. An excellent starting point would be "Cucurrucucú Paloma" from the film Talk to Her. Morelenbaum has had his hand in a lot of projects; you can hear his approach to traditional bossa nova in the groups Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum and Morelenbaum²/Sakamoto.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:44 PM on January 3, 2010

Maybe Giovanni Sollima or Balanescu Quartet.
posted by various at 11:06 PM on January 3, 2010

Gah, sorry those are all strings.
posted by various at 11:25 PM on January 3, 2010

At times. Alejandro Escovedo's band is composed of string players. See Room of Songs
posted by andreap at 11:59 PM on January 3, 2010

Ditto Jorane.
posted by juv3nal at 12:47 AM on January 4, 2010

Drugstore use a lot of cello. In good ways! Their big song was El Presidente featuring Thom Yorke.

You may also like an Aussie indie band called Schvendes -- very dark, quite funny at times and all-round amazing sounds, I can't praise them enough. Try Small Mercies Sweet Graves. It's definitely worth buying the album on import if you can get it. It didn't leave my cd player for months.
posted by indienial at 1:40 AM on January 4, 2010

Elbow - Some Riot
posted by Bleusman at 2:55 AM on January 4, 2010

Been a long time since I dug it out, but Bob Mould's Workbook featured a lot of cello. Likewise Joy 1967-1990 by Ultra Vivid Scene.
posted by minimii at 10:58 AM on January 4, 2010

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