Neon-drenched noir and ethereal vocals straight out of a daydream…

Barrie Lindsay, founder, curator and director of Brooklyn five-piece Barrie, tends to daydream a lot, generating vivid imagery of what might be, and on ‘Happy To Be Here’ she presents these daydreams in the form of pop songs with an alternate twist.

These are songs for listening to in the dark, at night, driving around the streets, like a modern-day noir film. Barrie present an explosive vision throughout, whilst simultaneously expressing a softer touch. This record shows they aren’t merely happy to be here – with a debut record out in the world – but rather that they’re are here to stay and forge their own path as the best new band from the music metropolis that is New York City.

Synth-sounds dominate as Barrie alternate between an LA road trip in the California sun and the bustling, bright lights of a chaotic Manhattan. There’s a warm fuzz to the record – the production of ‘Tropical’, for example, adding a vintage layer as the crackle of a record player appears in the background.

Meanwhile a chirpy, Broadway piano line echoes throughout, none more so on ‘Clovers’, where the quintet embrace their home-roots. But they never stay at home for long, as Lindsay begins to dream about another life. The neon-drenched noir influences take over and the drowning synths have you thinking of that Ryan Gosling film.

There’s a subtle electronic euphoria running throughout, a constant link between each track allowing the record to exist as one piece despite the unique nature of each song, a sole riff or synth line making one stand out from the next. Each track forges its own identity and thus, each one remains memorable, every song grabbing your attention, but for different reasons each time.

It’s Linday’s voice that is the real centrepiece however, gliding effortlessly throughout. It doesn’t take your breath away as it simmers alongside the instrumentation, but her wistful delivery is vital to the portrayal of daydreaming that Barrie aims for. It never feels affected – her ethereal sound is sincere and otherworldly.

This seems like an album for everyone, with a pop song for each customer, but ultimately, it’s the start of something special, the start of the next big New York band.

7/10

Words: Johnny Rogerson

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