Barrie: Barbara (Winspear) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, April 17th, 2024  




Apr 04, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Barrie Lindsay doesn’t care about Star Wars. She doesn’t care about The Doors either. Perhaps she’s too cool for those obvious pop culture touchpoints, but on “Bully,” she realizes her lack of interest in the delights of others is alienating. She wants to be seen, as she feebly pleads: “Come on look at me/I wanna talk, I wanna touch.” She wants you to like her, and yet, she’s unapologetic about herself (“I’m Napoleon, carving out my own region,” she sings on “Harp 2”). On her second album, Barbara, Lindsay freely explores and obsesses over intimate joys and griefs through the meticulously-controlled bedroom pop she writes, performs, and produces almost solely by herself. She hopes you’ll look at her and love her for who she is.

Lindsay isn’t dramatic about this. Barbara isn’t like an early Taylor Swift record, where Swift yells through a megaphone for attention (no disrespect to Swift). Lindsay is like an impressionist painter, drawing you in and making you squint to get a glimpse of her through her feathery voice that floats like a Monet water lily on a pond of bright synthesizers and genial indie pop guitar riffs. Sometimes Lindsay drops a number of her odds and ends instruments in the mix, adding texture to her eclectic personality and songcraft. Such as on “Dig,” where tremolo-picked dulcimer and mandolin create a heart flutter effect as Lindsay chants, “I can’t get enough of you/Where did you come from?” Or on “Bloodline” where a light flute breathes over a delicate piano instrumental as the album closes.

For all the album’s space and airy gentleness, Barrie is at her best when her songs have strong pop anchors. Whereas “Concrete” ironically drifts into immateriality (not dissimilar to a mid-level Beach House cut), songs such as opener “Jersey” hang on more developed melodic vigor, both from the Soccer Mommy-esque guitar riff and Lindsay’s beautifully harmonized vocal performance. On early single “Quarry,” it’s the spare drum rhythm and soft ’80s synths bursting in the chorus to deliver the hook. Throughout Barbara, Barrie flits between the boldness of these sharp musical moments and a sort of reservedness that makes her hard to get a full grasp of. But she does have our attention. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10


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