New artist of the week: Barrie

Plus songs you have to hear from Róisín Murphy and Maria Somerville

Ambient dream pop band

In the style of Bon Jovi, the New York band Barrie are an outfit named after their lead singer Barrie, but who also include Noah, Sabine, Dom and someone called Spurge (which wouldn't have had the same ring to it).

Where those soft rock titans apparently got their name after John Bongiovi decided he wanted to have a full band after getting a record deal, Barrie's origin story is a much more suitable 21st-century affair.

The five members are from all over and met in Brooklyn. Barrie moved to New York on her manager’s suggestion. Spurge and Noah were working on an online radio station called The Lot as DJs when they were introduced. Drummer Dom was formerly in the London band Is Tropical and was a new arrival to the city while Sabine, a Brazilian fresh from Berlin was supposedly solicited via a Tinder profile by the band looking for a bassist rather than a hookup.

The band are just three singles deep since the start of the year but there is a clear identity formed. In short-hand, Barrie make ambient dream pop. Their debut song Canyons encapsulates their style of drawing on retro synths sounds, modern pop production and melodic sweetness. Fans of Beach House may find Tal Uno right up their street while Michigan comes across like a poppier take on the slow disco atmosphere of the Chromatics.


You have to hear this

Róisín Murphy – The Rumble

A highlight from the Arklow singer's recent gigs at All Together Now and Metropolis, The Rumble features on the last of four 12" releases produced by Maurice Fulton. As with many of the dance-friendly tracks released by Murphy this year, the song takes a while to get under the skin but by the time the backing vocals kick in, its earworm status is complete. Róisín Murphy can sing a tune time and time again. Listen here.

Maria Somerville – Eyes Don’t Say It

The Galway singer and musician Maria Somerville was first featured in the Irish Times in 2014 in a profile before she had released any music, such was the interest in her rare but engaging live shows. It's been a case of working things out privately since and the musician has returned with music that is as dense as a Connemara fog. Eyes Don't Say It is a song in the vein of Julia Holter, Grouper and Joanna Barwick and a mini LP is to follow. Listen here.