Barrie are new kids on the scene (not new to FAR), but already carving out a name for themselves with their laid back and dreamy synth pop. While the band is based in Brooklyn, its members – like many Brooklyn’s residents – come from around the world. In this case Barrie, Sabine, Dom, Noah and Spurge hail from such varied locales as Boston, Baltimore, Brazil, London and upstate New York. There’s even a rumour Sabine was recruited through Tinder. Millennial bands have all the fun these days…
The Singles EP, as the name implies, collects Barrie’s three singles from earlier this year with physical copies adding remixes of “Canyons” and “Michigan” to the b-side.
Lead off track “Canyons” eases you in with smokey smooth vocals and gentle chords before unleashing a fierce funk groove that sounds like it came straight out of a Chic record. The wide variety of synth textures and electronic flourishes keep it from feeling too much like a ’70s throwback and Barrie are wise enough to give the song space to breathe. This is a song as much for the dance floor as it is the early morning ride home when you’re still buzzed on a few overpriced drinks. “Tal Uno” follows a similar theme of synth pop styled textures, soothing vocals and dreamy guitars. This time Barrie evokes more of an ’80s high school dance than the funk of “Canyons“. It wouldn’t feel out of place in a John Hughes movie or an episode of Stranger Things. Lyrically Barrie sings about a failing romance and reminds her partner “don’t you think you can do better“, but she seems more resigned than bitter. If ’80s high school movies are anything to go by then these things tend to have happy ending.
The final track, “Michigan” changes up the format a bit by leaning less heavily on synths and electronic aesthetics and introducing more traditional guitar and keyboard sounds to the mix. Descending piano chords anchor the song accented by prickly guitar notes and vocals that feel more like an added instrument supplementing the dreamy textures. The chorus features Barrie’s catchiest vocal hook yet sounding impassioned despite its soft edges and jaded lyrics.
With the three songs collected on Singles, Barrie have leapt out of the gates sounding like a band of seasoned veterans. After such a promising start, they’ll certainly be a band to keep on eye on in the future, but until then let Barrie’s dreamy synth pop soundtrack all your nights out and lonely nights in.