reviewed by Laura Stanley
One of my favourite, and sadly under recognized, Canadian bands The O’Darling, blend together sounds of orchestral indie-pop for a glorious and lush result that will take your breath away. Jennah Barry is part of that collective band and has recently branched off, recording her debut solo album, Young Men.
Barry’s album brings over a similar warm pop sound that’s in The O’Darling tracks but creates her own irresistible songs. Fellow O’Darling bandmates and current members of Aidan Knight’s Friendly Friends, Colin Nealis, Olivier Clements, and (brother) David Barry, contribute their respective musical talents to the album, Nealis also helps out with production, while the banjo playing Old Man Luedecke can also be heard.
Listening to the album, it’s easy to draw comparisons between Barry’s work and other Canadian songstresses. “To Be Patient” has a Kathleen Edwards-like country infused sound while “Dead Give Away” has an upbeat poppy sounds not unlike that of Hannah Georgas’. But what Barry brings to her music that makes it so appealing and refreshing is the sweet tone to her voice and the ease she puts you in with her friendly music style.
Although “The Coast” opens Young Men up with the line, “We started on the wrong foot,” Barry can do no wrong by opening her album with this song. Starting off in a minimal way, “The Coast” grows to a full-on powerful, indie pop song that should earn Barry some attention single handedly.
The self-reflective song “Honey” and “Sheriff” are two examples of the more sombre, but equally strong, side to Barry’s album. “Sheriff” in particular will charm you thanks to its love story about a Sheriff and a bear attack mention that can’t help but remind me of Hayden’s “Killbear.”
“4X4” and “Slow Dance” are a couple of more of my favourite songs from Young Men. Both are ridiculously melodious while “Slow Dance” is a simple and sweet acoustic number that I can only describe as absolutely wonderful.
Barry’s record, sadly, ends with the title track “Young Men,” a quiet but poppy one, which contrasting the lyrics, and features Old Man Luedecke playing his signature instrument.
Jennah Barry’s Young Men is an excited new release from an exciting new talent so do listen up!
Young Men is available on Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “The Coast,” “4X4,” “Sweetheart,” “Slow Dance”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*
Watch Jennah Barry sing “Slow Dance” for the video series Analog Songs: