Interview: Q+A With Barrie Get to know Barrie:Â the modern family band who convened from the internet and all over the globe, to start a band together in Brooklyn.
Posted: 28 September 2018 Words: Bianca Eddleston
Get to know Barrie: the modern family band who convened from the internet and all over the globe, to start a band together in Brooklyn.
Barrie, Dom, Noah, Sabine, and Spurge: five musicians collectively known as Barrie - a new group hailing from Brooklyn, NY that make blissed out soft-rock. Forming around lead singer and songwriter Barrie Lindsay, the band began releasing music early in 2018, and so far we've heard three intriguing singles. The glistening chillwave of 'Canyons', the glossy 80's synth-led 'Tal Uno' and the classic rock vibed 'Michigan' which have been slow-dripped since February 2018, now set to be released collectively as Singles on 12" - dueOctober 12th via Winspear.
Music-wise, the three singles we've heard from Barrie were birthed before the group were fully formed and were written and flashed out by Lindsay alone in her apartment. The last single to drop was 'Michigan' which has more of a full band sound and may give more of a clue to the direction they're headed in - now that the members are living and rehearsing together as the songs are being written.
"The songs are my babies and the band helps raise them. I’m the single mother and my bandmates are the cool aunts and uncles that show them Fela Kuti and teach them how to drive stick" - Barrie Lindsay.
Choosing Brooklyn as their designated HQ, the band seeded from Lindsay's involvement with The Lot, a Brooklyn based online radio station, with the remaining members being recruited from various corners of the internet and the globe. There's something Fleetwood Mac-ish about the music and the romantic backstory of people coming together to form a ride-or-die, real musical family. It has to work, right? If you up sticks and cross the Atlantic for a musical project there's a next-level commitment that should propel it. We all love a bit of romanticism and Barrie's bio draws parallels to the second fateful phase of Fleetwood Mac, where the story has it that John McVie, Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood were down on their luck in the UK, took a leap of faith and moved to L.A with an idea to keep the band going with fresh blood and end up crossing paths with Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. Let us hope some of the same omen lives on and Barrie's union is as fruitful!
We, for one, are excited about the prospect of an LP - specific details of which are yet to be released. Read our chat with Barrie, Dom, Noah, Sabine, and Spurge - aka BARRIE.
Singles is out October 12, 2018 via Winspear.
"We basically met the same way my grandparents met in the 1940s: blind date via mutual friend and married 3 months later"
B: Barrie, D: Dom, N: Noah, S: Spurge, SH: Sabine.
GL:Hey! Introduce Barrie, who is Barrie?S: Barrie is Barrie Lindsay, the band’s singer/songwriter & also the band, Barrie. Like how there’s Sade Adu & the band Sade.
GL: So you guys are based out of Brooklyn, but are from all around the globe - how did you all come together?N: At the time, our mutual friend Joe was managing Barrie remotely while she lived in Boston. When Barrie decided to move to New York, Joe asked us all to, nay, informed us that were we going to start a band and take over the world together. We were like “okay, we’re down”. He was basically like, “well, good because it’s happening either way”. It was a weirdly perfect fit and everything happened super fast and naturally after that. We basically met the same way my grandparents met in the 1940s: blind date via mutual friend and married 3 months later.
D: That’s so cute about your grandparents. But yeah, there was a lot of just really good luck and timing in our first year of coming together. It was a feeling we all thought was funny at first, now it’s a bit creepy. Like, I don’t wanna say the ‘’d word’’, but… destiny?
GL:Do you think location influences music making and the songwriting process? How?B: Definitely. In the obvious ways, like timbre and instrumentation, but more so in how you subconsciously internalize and mimic your surroundings. Or reject them. When I’m home in New England I just want to write pure, simple, understated songs.
N: The city is so visually and aurally busy that I tend to have way more energy when I’m here, but things, like cleaning my room in silence or standing in a quiet room with high ceilings, are suddenly super therapeutic. Being in the city sort of pulls me in two different directions, intensifying both my attention to micro-details and my contrasting thirst for space and peace. As a result, my baseline musical style tends to be quicker and more compulsive, but I’m also more drawn to slow/minimal sounds because they feel like a brain massage.
GL:Who produces the music or is it collaborative, and where is the music recorded?B: For the most part, I record the songs (the demos) on my own, in my apartment in Brooklyn. The demos are pretty fleshed out compositionally and have strong suggestions of where the production is headed. The collaboration comes in when we start translating them to play them live, and in turning them into proper songs for release. The mood of songs can really change. Everyone has strengths they bring in, like live drum parts, synth sounds, textures, structural ideas, tempo changes, etc. The songs are my babies and the band helps raise them. I’m the single mother and my bandmates are the cool aunts and uncles that show them Fela Kuti and teach them how to drive stick.
D: I first was sent a batch of our early songs and thought the project wasn’t for me -- because of what Barrie just said about them seeming very complete. I was looking for another project to be involved in but the last few years for me had been about extreme freedom and experimentation in my writing. After a few listens though, I, like everyone else, became individually captured by the power of Barrie’s songwriting. So it solidified my decision to relocate from London. I feel I got very lucky because here’s such an incredible talent but the demos were all needing something for me - the drums, in particular, were an area that I thought could be elevated, and so I saw there was a space for me to inhabit in the group. Especially on the stuff that’s coming next - and it’s been very refreshing recording simply as a drummer rather than the ‘spinning plates’ feeling I was used to. Playing drums on these songs is such a pleasure, I realised that being a part and focusing your energy can actually be very rewarding and inspiring. It changed my attitude towards what it means to be in a band/songwriter.
GL: If you could add one new piece of gear to your home studio or rehearsal space, what would it be?
N: My friend Evan (Photay) got a Buchla Music Easel recently and it’s one of the most beautiful instruments I’ve heard in ages.
D: Yessss the weird ergonomics are very inspiring on the Buchla stuff. It sounds lame but I kinda just want to find the perfect tambourine. It’s hard.
GL: You are signed to the Winspear label, how did this come about?
B: I was emailing a bunch of managers, trying to get opener slots around New York. We couldn’t get on any shows so I was just cold calling, and I emailed Jared from Winspear about opening for a band he manages. We didn’t get the show but they liked the demos and we met the next week, then signed maybe a week or two after that.
GL: How would you describe your sound?
SH: Future longing for hopeful nostalgia
D: I hope we sound like what we are - eclectic, accomplished, confident.
GL: So far, we’ve heard 3 awesome singles from you, and there is an EP on the way in October - what are the main themes/inspiration behind the record?
B: The three songs we have out are from the end of a period where I was pretty immersed in synth pop. The EP is those three songs plus two remixes by our friends Shura, FaltyDL, and Brother Michael. It feels like a nice segue from my synth pop chapter, when I lived in Boston before meeting these guys, to where we are now as a band in Brooklyn.
GL: What are you listening to at the moment?
S: Yves Tumor’s new album on Warp is fantastic.
N: Been listening to a lot of stuff from Deewee, Soulwax/2 Many DJs’ label out of Ghent, Belgium. Also the Brasingles compilations from Selva Discos.
SH: Mitski’s Be The Cowboy and Arthur Verocai’s Self Titled
D: Arthur Russell and Todd Rungren (‘A wizard A true star’) for me this month. Ready for autumn to drop.
GL: Where are the bands fave places to hang out in Brooklyn?
N: The Lot Radio, Nowadays, Black Flamingo, Transmitter Park.
SH: Wherever Noah’s djing.
D: Bay Ridge for the Italian wholesalers. Crown Heights when the parades are on, miles of streets turn into one huge party. I also have loved wandering around the Queens / Brooklyn border, in pseudo-suburbia. There are tons of nice graveyards hidden in BK, too. Can you tell I’m antisocial?
GL: Nice, what live acts are you liking right now, around Brooklyn or further afield?
N: Ghost Piss, Seedy Films, Jennifer Vanilla, and Melanie Charles are killing it.
GL: What would be the Barrie dream support slot?
D: I’d love to get on tour with Andy Shauf, his record was on repeat in the tour van at some point. I think we’d gain (read: ruthlessly steal) loads of fans from a solid Steely Dan support. But the gigs might be a bit dry.
GL: One song or album that the whole band would agree on?
B: We all fell pretty hard for the last Juana Molina album Halo. Sabine played us “Into the Lassa” and it worked for all of us right away. (Right? Yes ;))
Photo: Joanna Sullivan.