Monday, 13 October 2014

Music - Part 312 - Barbarisms

Barbarisms – Barbarisms (Control Freak Kitten)
6 October 2014

Lo-fi trio release their debut album.  

Imagine if you will, Bob Dylan, Art Garfunkel and Brian Molko sat around a campfire on an enforced American road trip.  Maybe you can’t.  Let Barbarisms help.

One third American (Nicholas Faraone) and two thirds Swedish (Tom Skantze and Robin Af Ekenstam), Barbarisms give us their debut offering of eleven, simple but yet complicated songs of loving quality.

Opener and recent single, Easier All The Time is haunting as it trundles along with a contagious chorus and strain containing vocals which fade in and out with an incurable ease.  The accompanying video does nothing to halt the spookiness and a young Anthony Perkins continually faces his demons and tries to outwit them in the chase.

All the songs are simple but hold a certain quality which is difficult to dismiss.  Whether it be the forlorn vocals or the sparse instrumentation who knows, what is easy to observe is that their debut is a thoroughly entertaining offering.

McCauley Culkin On Pizza references sucking on electric cigarettes and simple things, but the song is far from that.  It’s difficult to pin down what makes Barbarisms so delightful, they just are as the outdoor sounding production brings even more to the drunken, smoky party which must surely be a factor of each get together.

Ekenstam fell victim to cancer during recording of the album resulting in amputation of an elbow and forearm.  Undeterred, the trio used a kitchen spatula taped to a drum stick to allow him to play percussion.  A quite remarkable claim, but entirely believable. 

Their brand of lo-fi Indie folk is appealing to say the least.  A Wash Of Teeth And Eyes is maybe as commercial as they get but continues to sound like the tracks are recorded late one evening out in the garden.

Track titles are as curious as the songs themselves with Explorer 10 Olga Khokhlova clearly demonstrating as it to weaves a wondrous tapestry of guilt edged sound and emotion.  Closer, Figures Of Men is unpretentious and brings the album to a bizarre, completely unexpected ending.

A lovely, captivating album containing expressive words and unsophisticated intelligence.


Control Freak Kitten Records
Barbarisms wesbite

Published on Louder Than War 6/10/14 - here

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