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Alternative & Indie - Released May 3, 2019 | Winspear

Staying loyal to the concept introduced on their debut EP, 2018's Singles, Brooklyn dreamers Barrie return a year later with their first full-length, Happy to Be Here. It was co-produced by bandleader Barrie Lindsay alongside engineer and mixer Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Beth Orton), who also contributed to the debut. All five members of Barrie, however, contribute to the group's lush, gently off-kilter dream pop. Wrapping their warm, shimmery harmonic pop in reverb, easygoing tempos, and Lindsay's airy murmurs, it's a distinctly spongy sound that permeates the album's just-over half-hour run time. The sound is so consistent that rhythmic touches more than changes in synth and guitar textures stave off homogeneity. While that's a trait of the whole album, these contrasts are most conspicuous on tracks like "Habits," with its intricate, jazz-and-pop hybrid drum patterns, and the cantering "Geology," which draws additional rhythmic complexity from broken guitar chords and staggered guitar and keyboard entry points. Elsewhere, the bubbly "Chinatown" relies on syncopation in both its keyboard and vocal hooks. Speaking of hooks, the analog synth-punctuated "Clovers" is probably the nearest thing to vibrant pop on the album, but while it, too, is allowed to surface for fresh air periodically -- in this case for brief, staccato piano breaks -- for the most part, it stays submerged in the album's opaque design. More mood music than earworm despite the occasional bright melody and head-bobbing groove, Happy to Be Here is nonetheless a feel-good outing, one ideal for low-key summer settings. ~ Marcy Donelson

Pop - Released October 12, 2018 | Winspear

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The debut EP from Brooklyn indie five-piece Barrie, Singles is technically a compilation, collecting three singles that were all released in 2018 in advance of the October EP. The singles are accompanied by remixes of two of the songs. It's a worthwhile gathering because of Barrie's peaceable yet complex sound, one that landed them on the Winspear label before they'd publicly shared a track. The songs are the creation of the band's namesake, Barrie Lindsay, a onetime music theory and composition student who formed a 15-piece chamber pop group as part of her college senior thesis. Here, she and her bandmates weave delicate textures from guitars, keyboards and synths, percussion, and airy vocals. Along with hummable melodies, they establish a consistently dreamy, porous take on chillwave from the first track, "Canyons," whose funky bass and shimmering textures borrow from the '80s as well as the late 2000s. It shares a certain handcrafted production sensibility with the more indie rock-leaning Hoops, whose 2017 LP, Routines, was mastered by Mike Bridavsky. Bridavsky masters the two remixes here, including a version of "Canyons" reworked by New York producer FaltyDL with U.K. pop singer/producer Shura. Their take is even more impressionistic than the single but loyal to the echoing warmth and lo-fi character of the original. The remix of EP highlight "Michigan" is handled by Brother Michael Rudinski (Karate, Psymon Spine), who did the original mixes of the other two songs and nearly doubles the playing time of "Michigan." It closes the EP on more club-friendly beats, percussive timbres, and rhythmic vocal samples, seeming to deliberately kill the vibe but provide the hope of productivity. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Pop - Released May 23, 2018 | Winspear

Pop - Released September 4, 2018 | Winspear

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Pop - Released February 5, 2018 | Winspear