You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown is a Portuguese band formed in early 2009 by Afonso Cabral, Salvador Menezes and Luís Costa, but quickly turned into a 4-piece with the addition of David Santos to the band’s lineup. They released their self-titled debut EP through Optimus Discos in February of 2010, which features 6 home recorded songs that combine a Portuguese sense of melancholy with the British/American musical aesthetic of such artists as Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Nick Drake or Sufjan Stevens. The EP received great reviews from the local press and web circuit and the next months were dedicated to live performances, for which they recruited Tomás Sousa and João Gil, both of which they already knew from previous bands. It didn’t take long to realize this 6 piece version of the band was the best they’ve ever sounded, so with this complete lineup the band began to work on their debut album.
“Chromatic” was released in May 2011 by Pataca Discos (a label owned by artist/musician João Paulo Feliciano), and showcases the band’s wide array of influences, from the dancing beat of the opening track “Over the sun, Under the Water”, to the 7 and half minutes epic grandiosity of “An ending”. In between they travel through the pop sweetness of “A while can be a long time” (which features vocals from another young Portuguese talent, Márcia), the almost-tribal feel of “In the end we start again”, the dark mysterious ambiance in “Glimpse” and the contagious energy of “I’ve been lost”.