Set to release her upcoming second album later this month, New York artist Barrie Lindsay – aka Barrie – has been charming our ears with her shimmering sounds for some time now. Ahead of the album’s release, she has now shared ‘Jenny‘ – a poignant reflection on falling in love with her wife. Flowing with twinkling melodies as her delicate crystalline vocals emanate a stirring emotion, it’s a beautifully uplifting offering, celebrating the comfort of finding home in another person.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of her new album, we caught up with Barrie to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five ‘perfect pop songs’ that she loves and have inspired her sound. Check them out below, and listen to ‘Jenny’ at the end of this article!
The La’s – ‘There She Goes’
I first heard this in the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap movie, and I come back to it constantly. It’s such a Motown song with the beat, melody, harmonies and loud, live-sounding production – it makes no sense that it came out in 1988. And it perfectly rides the line of happy and melancholy. It seems so simple but the structure and progressions are really hard to pin down. It’s particularly special to me because my dad and I used to play this song on guitar together — it’s really fun on a 12-string.
Robyn – ‘Call Your Girlfriend’
Robyn is a master of minimal maximalism, like SOPHIE. And she’s so committed to the character of Robyn, it’s really inspiring. The Robyn songs that click for me are the ones that have her special mix of drive and melancholy. She gets the perfect balance of hopeful and desperate. I’ve tried many times to write a Robyn song, and I’ll probably keep trying to for a long time. I love running to this song, and it blows my mind that a song is capable of making you physically stronger.
Alvvays – ‘Dreams Tonite’
Beyond the great songwriting (the anticipated chord change in the chorus!), there’s a lyric in this that I think about a lot when I’m songwriting: “On the turnpike, one of Eisenhower’s.” It feels like they are breaking a rule or something – lyrics in popular music don’t reference mundane parts of history like Eisenhower building the turnpikes; it’s a throwaway line that packs so much. The line makes me rethink the inevitability of the way society operates, how everything in our society was designed by some person- it sends me on an entire other existential thread. And particularly at a point where you’re songwriting and can’t or don’t want to delve into yourself for lyrics, why not poke at the things in the world around us that we take for granted as part of everyday life? And ultimately, they all shed light on human behaviour and therefore lead to human connection, like you hope for in a song.
Billy Preston – ‘Nothing From Nothing’
This song feels like pure joy. Great musicianship, great melodies. It’s playful, and after years of listening to it, I still get the same amount of joy from it; it reminds me of dancing in the kitchen as a kid with my family. He was an incredible pianist, and what a great rag-timey piano sound. I joined my school’s gospel choir in college, and got exposed to contemporary gospel music like Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Kurt Carr, and Hezekiah Walker. This song has a lot of the same driving and uplifting qualities as contemporary gospel, which makes sense since Billy Preston came up playing in church. A lot of what I like about this song is the same as what I like about gospel music. So much flair and musicianship from the instrumentalists. They’re so tight.
Britney Spears – ‘How I Roll‘
I first heard this song in 2012 and I was blown away. So many great textures, so chaotic, and also somehow so pure. Underneath the micro beats and totally synthetic, unnatural sounds, it’s just a hand-clapping game song. I like that they threw everything at the song, like a no-bad-ideas session, and then honed every single detail. Everything feels deliberate; it’s experimental but in the name of joy rather than self-indulgence or pretension. How cool that Britney Spears went for this?!
Massive thanks to Barrie for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Barbara, her upcoming new album, is set for release on 25th March via Winspear. Listen to latest single ‘Jenny’ below.
Photo Credit: Alexa Viscius