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  • Andy

Red Barnett 🇮🇸 - Rise (EP)



Coincidentally I recommended Icelandic project Red Barnett in January to someone whilst having a conversation about fellow countrymen Mono Town, both artists writing similarly fluid melodic indie music. Little did I know that at the same time Red Barnett were finishing up working on their new EP 'Rise' in the lovely Quandrangle / Rockfield Studios in Wales - although it was probably a good job I didn't know given I'd have been tempted to drive down for an afternoon and peek through the windows to see what they were up to.


Red Barnett was originally set up by Halli Sveinbjörnsson back in 2015, and we featured him when he released the very personal 'Shine' the same year, but the project expanded with fellow Icelandic collaborators and friends, resulting in the excellent 'Astronauts' which was released in 2020 - the lead single from that album is quite simply one of my favourite ever songs.


So of course it's lovely to have them back, and the 6 track 'Rise' feels again personal, softly textured as if every note and vocal is delivered with precision, a feeling that 'less is more', and lyrics that are thoughtful, melancholy and sometimes wistful. I'll sneak this onto our Recommended Albums of the Week feature (6 track EP's count...), but there's a couple of tracks that stand out in particular. Firstly 'Home, Part 2' follows on from the track 'Home' that we heard in debut album 'Shine', with gorgeous floating vocals over acoustic guitars, and lyrics reminding us simply of our love for families and all things home inspired, whilst the accompanying notes remind us that not everyone is lucky enough to have somewhere they can actually call home.

But my favourite track is undoubtedly the concluding 'The Traveller', which for some reason I find almost overwhelmingly beautiful, again a gentle vocal tune soars above the instrumentals, as if floating in the breeze, and accompanied by the backdrop of a simple piano theme the song build in dynamics and intensity until it suddenly disappears into the distance, as if lost completely.


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