JENNAH BARRY

Canadian Songwriter Jennah Barry releases her new album Holiday

produced by Colin Nealis (Andy Shauf/Foxwarren). 

Holiday is out now via-Forward Music Group.

On the south shore of Nova Scotia, in a house she helped build, Jennah Barry wrote, arranged, and recorded the songs that comprise Holiday, her second album. 

With Colin Nealis, her “greatest musical partner”—and partner in life—she made the album in 20- minute pockets, whenever their brand-new daughter would sleep, resulting in a piece of art that’s focused, delicate, of its own time while seemingly of one past. 
 

It’s been in progress a long while—the title is a hallmark of Barry’s trademark wit—and the truth of that progress is found in the gentle mundanity of everyday spiked with big life events like vocal surgery, and a baby. The truth is, Barry simply needed the time.

“I make Grand Canyons in my brain I can’t escape,” she says.

“The only time I can write about it is when I find a way out. The whole record is about ruminating.” 
 

You can hear the ruminating from the very beginning, starting with the rueful waltz “No Dancer", on which Barry sings,

“He sure can move / but he’s no dancer” before a swell of backing singers adds “Board the door / for one more night.”

It’s followed by the first single “Roller Disco,” steeped deep in nostalgia, strings, and gentle sadness, a lost AM radio hit.

“Ever since I wrote that song I had a visceral idea of how I wanted the whole album to feel,” she says. “I wanted people to feel very far away,

and lonely but okay with it.” 
 

Where her debut Young Men—a left-field album that announced her arrival fully formed —sounds like an artist flush with the confidence of youth, brooding and urgent, Holiday is a reflection of maturity, of worn-in and worn-down experience.

There’s the lullaby “Are You Dreaming”:

“‘Every day comes once then it’s over,’” Barry quotes from the song.

“That’s what I tell myself.”

On “Big Universe” she digs into her search for a higher power, AKA horoscopes:

“I needed to know what to do. I’ve always experimented with my spirituality.”

Her favourite is “I See Morning,” whose refrain laments, “Looking at the world / nothing ever happens.” The slow-burning, dramatic closer, “Stop The Train,” is a metaphor for whether pursuing music was still worth it at all: “I took a long look behind me / you’re gone.” 
 

Like all of Barry’s work, Holiday is intimate and intricate, timeless and universal—it sounds like it could’ve come out of Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon as well as the one Jenny Lewis inhabits now. 
 

“You know when you were a kid, listening to music on headphones, and put your head against the window, pretending to be in a movie?” she says.

“Pretty much everything I write, I want that feeling. I want everyone who listens to lean their head against the backseat of a car, dreaming about

their life.” 

LIVE DATES

 

Oct 07 Focus Wales

Wrexham, UK

Oct 11 The Castle, Manchester

Manchester, UK

B I Z Z A R R E

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Jennah Barry - Big Universe

Jennah Barry – Holiday

Order here

 

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