Brooklyn five-piece with Barrie Lindsay at the core, as lead singer, Dominic Apa, Spurge Carter, Sabine Holler and Noah Prebish, have released their debut LP, Happy To Be Here, surprisingly tight and polished for a debut. Dream pop at it’s best, this is an album entrenched with upbeat riffs and high notes. Optimistically hopeful, Happy To Be Here, sounds precisely that, and with there being so much to whinge about these days, it is a luxury to hear music that still remains relatively celebratory. The album is a essentially celebrating their experiences in NYC, as they came together and formed, with a pacey tempo, yet reflective style.
Barrie, the band, is first and foremost Barrie Lindsay’s project, which the name may more than hint at. The record, which was co-produced with Jake Aron, features Lindsay playing guitar, piano, synth and bass. However, that does not say this is a solo project, far from it. Happy To Be Here incorporates all five members, albeit not recorded in the traditional manner. With Sabine Holler in Germany, her vocals were recorded far from the other members and mixed into the record. Unless aware of this fact, it’s not obvious from simply giving this album a listen. It’s incredibly wonderfully polished dream-pop.
It’s a great album for a first, and has guaranteed an interest on my part. Darjeeling has layers of funk over it’s nostalgic tones, and a hook that will reel you in from the get go with this record. Tropical, next on the album, has the occasional discordant note, a little less predictable than other tracks on the album. Clovers sounds substantially raw in comparison to some of the other tracks, until the chorus hits, rendering the album that of a sonic tapestry. Tempos and richness alternates throughout the ten-track treat.
Saturated is melodic, with nods to the eighties, screaming of nostalgia and reflection. The stand-out for me has to be Teenager, a culmination of sounds, which offers out rose-tinted shades for anyone considering their teenage years and twenties, hitting the city life and truly living it.
There is a great deal on offer with this debut record from Barrie, a naïve and exploratory album that incorporates the wide-ranging tastes that make up this band, as they are finding their feet in the big city.
Happy To Be Here is released on 3rd May, via Winspear.