Case study for Steph Barrak EP release.
Steph Barrak is an independent singer/songwriter from Boston, MA. Immediately approachable and inviting, Barrak’s music is a delightfully deceptive expression of indie folk, pop, and rock. Like a warm and familiar cup of tea with a hint of something you’ve never tasted before, Barrak draws the listener in and shows them the loose thread. Pull that thread and you will find yourself uncovering the deep and wondrous layers that exist below the surface. Each listen uncovers something new, whether it’s a visceral reaction to a hard-hitting lyric or a complicated change in rhythm that felt so natural, you didn’t notice.
Barrak’s forthcoming EP, Never Again (set to release in Jan 2017), is an evolution of the songwriter we heard in 2013 on Barrak’s debut album, Words To Break Your Heart. Straying from her acoustic comfort zone, Barrak further navigates instruments like electric guitar and synth, all while showing us a more mature, commanding, and focused songwriter. On Never Again, Barrak seeks to genuinely connect with the listener, and does so through her intimate vocal delivery, journal-esque lyricism, and controlled balance between musical restraint and inhibition. Barrak asks the listener for their trust and then guides them through an emotional and introspective journey of loss, longing, and endurance.
Never Again draws from a wide range of inspiration, including Jenny Lewis, Weezer, Queen, and even sounds of Motown soul. Produced and mixed by friend and musical partner, Mike Davidson (of Plaid Dog Recording), Never Again is rounded out by New England musical heavyweights Steve Scully (Melissa Ferrick) on drums and Annie Hoffman (Weakened Friends) on bass. Lance Riley also contributed textural and ambient guitar to most of the songs.
No stranger to the live stage, Barrak began performing at Boston-area open mics in 2006 and very quickly started headlining shows of her own. Since then, Barrak has performed at several notable venues (The Middle East, The Knitting Factory) and colleges (Wellesley College, Clark University, Boston University), and has shared the stage with acts like Jenny Owen Youngs and San Cisco. Barrak’s previous releases have garnered attention and acclaim from local press, including coverage from Performer Magazine, The Noise Magazine, and Allston Pudding.
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A playlist born from the featured artists of DrunkenWerewolf, including Steph Barrak.
Drunken Werewolf Introduces Steph Barrak.
"Words To Break Your Heart is a stunning piece..."
Joshua Pickard , Nooga
"Produced by Mike Davidson, who's also worked with artists like St. Vincent and Regina Spektor, this track is airy yet emotionally substantial, a breath of fresh air that clears the noise around your head, even if just for a few minutes." [11/18/2016]
"The vocals and instruments are delicate, encouraged to soar into the ether via fairy-like glockenspiel tones while staying grounded and simple with a balance of solid snare drum. Really, the sound in is the name. It’s that female-led, indie-pop sound that is so familiar and so good." [12/01/2016]
"...a bittersweet affair that celebrates the poignancy of memory, all set to uncluttered instrumentation and a lyrical palette that allows the listener's own experience to colour in the rest." [12/23/16]
Meredith Schneider , Impose Magazine
"The song makes you feel like you’re taking a long, deep breath and letting all of the negativity go. And that’s something we all need a little bit of right now."
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