The trippy and strung-out atmospheric indie music that begins The Barrens’ self-titled LP is much denser than listeners would think. The band has tied together a number of layers that yield different things each time that a listener begins the title. Far from being a single-oriented band, The Barrens make this title much more of a cogent thought than an exercise in episodes. Bottom of a Well has a higher energy opening, providing a clapping / tapping percussion that kicks the track into high gear. With the different instruments dropping away as the vocals tell their story, The Barrens is able to make an instantly memorable effort.
Out of the Rain recalls the days of the Thompson Twins and Spandau Ballet, updating the sound into something that fans of the Temper Trap and The Shins can immediately dig. Face the Eighth is the final track on this disc, and comes forth with a slinky opening that is reminiscent of The Tea Party or “Creep”. Little more is needed than guitars, drums, and the vocals to make for a track that resounds loudly, no matter how long ago the listener experienced it. This is one of the few albums that we have heard this year that is coherent, cogent, and provides listeners with substantially more as a unit than it would normally give parted out as a collection of singles.
I cannot wait to hear how the band continues to change and evolve. I have no idea where The Barrens will go in the next few years, but I believe that the resultant music will be amazing. Give their Bandcamp website (linked above) a spin.
Top Tracks: Claw Remains, Out of the Rain
The Barrens – The Barrens (CD) / 2012 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.thebarrens.bandcamp.com/ /