Review Summary: Dreamy indie pop. What more could you ask for?
Happy to Be Here is the debut album from indie pop act Barrie. This album sounds as though it wades through the dreams and memories of the lead singer, Barrie Lindsay, and that it also wants you to join in said dreams.
The album starts off with the song Darjeeling, a strong start for this adventure through many different styles of dream pop. This song is heavily synth oriented, with some light guitar thrown into the mix. The vocals are very lightly delivered up until the chorus, where harmonies come crashing in, making the chorus almost ethereal in a way.
Next is the song Dark Tropical, which, despite it's name, has an upbeat sound with light piano chords riffing in the background, and a cheerful synth riff occasionally appearing to add to the tropical vibe of the track. Clovers starts with some light guitar riffs and piano chords driving the beat forward, but once again, the chorus's harmonies and melodies make this track feel otherworldly.
Saturated feels much more drawn back than the previous songs and is almost whisper quiet for nearly the entire run, the volume echoing the lyrics of a "secret" crush. Chinatown, unfortunately I think is a weaker song compared to the rest. The song just doesn't grab me in the ways the rest of the songs on this album have so far, with the melody also being a bit on the forgettable side.
Teenager thankfully clears up this small bump in the road with abrupt synth riffs and reverb laden vocals that talk about the singer being a free-spirited teenager in New York City. Geology is actually a guitar driven song for once, allowing for the guitarist to have some moments of pure playful guitar riffing amongst the synth backgrounds.
Casino Run I think is another weak point in the album, as the first half of the song once again doesn't grab me as much as some of the other songs. However, the second half is actually somewhat interesting as the reverb laden harmonies come back in with what I think is a light vocoder effect, which adds a neat little touch to the ending of this song.
Finally, the album wraps up with Hutch, which is a short and sweet reminder of what this album essentially is: Dreamy synth pop with interesting quirks here and there. And I couldn't be happier to have listened to it.
At the end of the day, sometimes you just need something to chill to, and I think this album will do just that for you if you give it a shot. You may find a new indie pop act worth keeping your eye on.