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“sublime, dreamy and provocative” – American Songwriter
“a record full of the soothing grace”– The Line Of Best Fit (8.5/10)
“a superb songwriter capable of singing original beauty into timeless themes.” – SLUG Mag

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.

“beaming with beautiful intimacy, sweetness and joy.” – Slow Culture
“All the outside noise fades away as soon as the music begins” – GoldFlakePaint

Listen // Order Holiday on LP/CD // Watch Big Universe video // Watch live Roller Disco video

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.”

 “one of the finest folk albums of the year so far.” – Exclaim! (8/10)
“Holiday is one heartbreakingly realistic dream sequence after another” – CBC Music

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.”

 “A voice so warm and lush” – AmericanaUK
“Full of playful rhythms and pastoral folk harmonies” – Record Collector

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.”

October 8-10 – Wrexham, UKFOCUS Wales // tickets
October 11 – Manchester, UK: The Castle Hotel
* summer festival/tour dates will be announced once the world figures itself out
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iamjennahbarry.com
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It’s been a while since we’ve done a sampler but now seems as good a time as ever to share new music that might help you though these troubled times. We’ve intentionally chosen some calming, and generally chill music that you can use to ease you through the coming weeks. Hope you enjoy.

– Listen and download for FREE via Bandcamp –

Featuring current songs from Motherhood and Jennah Barry, this sampler also contains unreleased music from upcoming releases by Joshua Van Tassel and Isador, a live song from Paper Beat Scissors‘ Montreal release show, a b-side from Nick Scofield, a remix of Sarah Pagé by Joni Void, and a live version of JOYFULTALK‘s Pixelated Skin with the Bela String trio.