Red Barnett - ‘Turning Up’ (single)
When Icelandic band Red Barnett released a new single entitled ‘Astronaut’ back in May, I was pretty excited by the return of the Halli Sveinbjörnsson led project. A stunning track that showed off a bigger and more expansive sound, it suggested that the new album could quite possibly be a highlight of a pretty miserable year.
So I must admit I was a little taken aback by new song ‘Turning Up’ when I first heard it, because it does have a very different feel to it. With a healthy helping of 80s influences it’s polar opposite to the type of song I’d normally spend my weekends listening to, even if the bright melodies are attractive throughout.
But they pull it off really convincingly, once again demonstrating a natural songwriting style clearly able to adapt to pretty much any genre. Don’t forget this behind this project is the guy who’s collaborated with everyone from heavy metal band Skálmöld and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, through to releasing gentle atmospheric acoustic tracks through Red Barnett such as “Lost At Sea’.
The highlight of ‘Turning Up’ for me is the refined arrangements, with sax solos and a heavy rhythm accompaniment which suggests it might sound great live. I do really like the instrumental sound that these guys produce.
There’s no doubt that ‘Astronaut’ is still my favoured track, but it leaves me open minded about the new album, which I suspect will be pretty easy to get to like.