Song of the Day: The Barr Brothers – You Would Have to Lose Your Mind

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is The Barr Brothers’ “You Would Have to Lose Your Mind” from the album Queen of the Breakers, which is available now via Secret City Records.

The Barr Brothers – You Would Have To Lose Your Mind (MP3)

The fleeting presence of a winged Icarus in the lyrics for The Barr Brothers’ “You Would Have to Lose Your Mind” feels all too appropriate for a song that feels like it begins somewhere celestial. Of course, the sound of a harp tends to evoke images of heavenly realms whether or not that’s the intention for harpist Sarah Page, the sole non-sibling member of the band, founded by brothers Brad and Andrew after moving from Rhode Island to Montreal in 2006. In this case, Brad Barr most definitely wants that ethereal association, draping his breathy vocals over Page’s strings and an insistent rhythm that anticipates the song’s building intensity. Intermingling more concrete details with references to Icarus’ fall and an emperor returning from war, Brad’s lyrics filter memories of younger days through an avidly mythic lens.

With its almost imperceptible shift from placid to stormy over six minutes, the song is also suggestive of larger changes for the Barr Brothers on their new album. On Queen of the Breakers, the band moves further from the spare style of their earliest efforts to a more layered and spacious sound that situates their songs closer to the moody night drives of The War On Drugs. That makes the Barr Brothers an especially fitting choice to open for Philadelphia’s finest on their current European tour. They descend back onto this continent in time for shows in the U.S. and Canada in December so check their website and Facebook for upcoming shows.

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One Comment

  1. Tuck
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely song

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