It all began in 2011, where brothers Andrew and Brad Ball were recording music in a Montreal boiler room. Fast forward six years and The Barr Brothers are recording with Lucius and touring with The War On Drugs. The brothers teamed up with harpist Sarah Page and Andres Vial to create the 50 minute folk fantasy that is Queen of the Breakers.
The Friday the 13th release starts off with a collaboration with Lucius that is “Defibrillation.” This song was built off its opening beat, which Andrew found while his mother was in the hospital. He had accompanied her to the emergency room for some 1 a.m. stitches and became fascinated with the heart monitors. From there, they got Lucius to sing the bridge and they had their first track.
“Kompromat” is an excellent example of The Barr Brother’s unique folk-rock blend. Not everyone can mesh lyrics about horses and buffalo with a grinding guitar riff. “You Would Have To Lose Your Mind” had been in the works since Sleeping Operator but came together at a cabin writing session. The closeness of the outdoors and the lake life peace-of-mind are ever present in this song.
Many of the songs on Queens of the Breakers came out of the Quebec cabin. The peaceful landscape seemed to have been the perfect backdrop to create a reflective album. Many of the songs reflect on life since their last 5-track album, Alta Falls, from 2015. Since then, both brothers have become fathers and life on the road has taken new meaning. The inevitability of change is a common theme in this album. The musicality mirrors this change as we hear calm reflective folk mixed in with several toe-tapping tunes like “It Came to Me.”
The barr has been set high with Queens of the Breakers and I don’t think I am alone in my excitement for what’s to come next for these brothers.
Recommended If You Like: Blitzen Trapper, Dawes, Langhorne Slim, The Milk Carton Kids
Recommended Tracks: Defibrillation, Song That I Heard, Queens Of The Breakers
Do Not Play: None
Written by Miranda Roberts on 10/14/2017