Hey all, and welcome back to another New Music segment!
Today, we have Yawnin’ in the Dawnin’, the debut EP of the band Barry. Barry’s sound is pure folk rock at its most freewheeling, but doesn’t sound dated or antiquated. Part of that is the fun the brothers have together; the opening title track is a somewhat silly a capella of getting 10 hours of sleep and wishing for ten more, but doesn’t take itself seriously (and boasts some fantastic harmonies).
The easiest, most contemporary comparison to Barry is Mumford and Sons. Second song “For Your Own Good” has the same front-and-center acoustic guitar assault and hoedown oomph as Mumford, but where that band sounded stodgy and stiff, “For Your Own Good” is kinetic and loose. The song has a natural rise and fall, no doubt aided by the frantic drumming of Bradford Barry.
Barry’s songs manage to be fully loaded while not losing any deft; when “Carnival(e)” explodes, it genuinely catches you off-guard, but still sounds logical. “Carnival(e)” also pushes frontman Patrick Barry a bit more than “For Your Own Good”; a large part of the reason that “Carnival(e)” works is that he manages to keep the tension going in the verses while letting lose at the end of the song. But “Carnival(e)” isn’t the only song that uses tension to great effect; penultimate tune “Love Something Too Much” brings in subtle keyboards and “Oh-whoa” vocals to build a melancholy atmosphere. The bridge going into the final chorus only adds to this, and the resulting end of the song begs you to sing along.
Similarly inviting is drink-in-the-air-style anthem “Drink One More”. The song’s storyteller lyrics and folk-song melody honestly reminds me a little of Flogging Molly’s quieter songs ,both in sound and in “Ah, fuck it, times are hard, but let’s have another and be happy” comfort. While it’s nothing particularly new in subject matter, Barry’s ability to build a solid song instrumentally, and their well thought out lyrics help them succeed.
Meanwhile, “Three Years in Carolina” could sneak right into any Class Rock FM station in a great way. With strong vocal harmonies, Southern Church organ, and a laid back jam feel, “Three Years in Carolina” shows Barry slipping right into southern rock without a hitch of trouble. Even though they’re folk to the bone, something about Barry as a band harkens back to the heyday of classic rock. Their music is free of any pretension, image-consciousness, or pandering; it’s just three brothers pumping out music.
And doing it well. In today’s music scene filled with acts trying too hard to act one way or another (looking at you, Mumford and Sons), Barry’s sincerity and earnest attitude is a breath of fresh air. Yawnin’ in the Dawnin’ is a tight EP and a promising debut; perhaps slightly too-midtempo for a full album, but “For Your Own Good” proves that Barry isn’t afraid to get raucous, either. Definitely someone to keep an eye on, 4/5 stars.