Known for engaging and emotive music, Ireland-based singer-songwriter Brian Barron shares his unique folk sound with the masses. Following his debut album in 2018, Barron has established his name in the Irish folk scene and now he has something new for us. We speak with Barron about his track ‘Junkie Track’, musical inspiration, early memories and much more!
OSR: Cliche, I know, but a good opener. What drew you to music?
Barron: I’ve always been drawn to it. I picked out my favourite cartoon melodies on my aunt’s piano when I was three. It’s always been inside me but fishing it out took a lot more time.
OSR: What inspires you to make music?
Barron: I write it, sing it and play it because there’s only one other solitary soul saying it the way it needs to be said. That person has taken it further than anyone else and though I’m nowhere near where I need to be, I hope to bring things a couple of more steps into unchartered territory.
OSR: What can you tell us about your new track ‘Junkie Boy’?
Barron: It’s a lullaby. We were all innocent children at one point before society with all its depravity and pitfalls snatched that away. Everyone needs a nice melody to fall asleep to, right?
OSR: Did you have any challenges when it came to recording and producing the single?
Barron: This one was pretty easy. I had the lyrics from way back. It happened pretty quickly and we overdubbed a few bits without overcooking the broth.
OSR: How do you hope ‘Junkie Boy’ is received by listeners? What do you hope they take from it?
Barron: I hope they take whatever they like from it. Music is subjective so what one person might feel or relate to another might not.
OSR: Which do you find more difficult: melody or lyrics?
Barron: Melodically, most of my stuff is pretty simple and based off old traditional structures. The lyrics usually come quickly all at once or not at all. I have to put myself into that area where I can receive it, but when I do it’s not a problem. Getting the sound in my head out exactly as I hear it has been the more difficult part, especially in the past.
OSR: Do you think ‘Junkie Boy’ is an evolution in your sound?
Barron: Well, I’m not sure which ones you’re comparing it to but I think we definitely got something a little different on this track and a couple of others we did that day. It’s mostly a triad of vocals, guitar and violin. It’s quite sparse in today’s terms, I guess. I feel like we are onto something but it’s not fully realised yet. Maybe on the next record.
OSR: If you could perform with any musician living or dead, who would it be and why?
Barron: I wouldn’t mind sitting at the crossroads with Robert Johnson and a couple of guitars.
OSR: What is your earliest memory?
Barron: Perhaps what I mentioned earlier in answer to the first question or my father bouncing me on the branch of an old oak tree while humming a melody. I can still remember how it sounded.
OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?
Barron: Look up, look up and greet your maker before Gabriel blows his horn.