Bara Karin – Five Times a Day (2022)

Bara Karin has never shied away from uncomfortable topics in her music and this continues with her latest single ‘Five Times a Day’. Delving into the mental health care system in Sweden, the single tells the story of a young woman who is kicked out of a psychiatric residential youth facility. To get her ADHD medication, the woman sells sex to the jangle of pill jars and slightly retro synth-pop.

While her music touches on space pop tones, there is a blast of freshness that comes through her unapologetic highlighting of taboo subjects. An artist, producer and singing therapist for women, Karin mixes serious topics with a delightful sense of humour. If you have never heard her music before, this single is a wonderful lead-up to her full-length album expected later this year.

‘Five Times a Day’ opens with the pulse of light synths that offer a soft touch to the melody. The jangle of pill bottles forms the initial beat that echoes out into the soundscape. A deeper synth rises through the low levels of the melody adding a darker texture to the music. The blinking of the synths brings a wonderful electronic feeling to the melody, but this is tempered with a softness that cushions you as you move through the single. At times, the deep beat of the synths acts like a heartbeat that pushes you into the rather retro vibes of the single.

As the melody brings a blinking softness to the single, Karin’s vocals have a wonderfully alternative edge. The high pitch of her vocal performance lightly leaps from one synth to the other gently running a hand over the jangle of pill bottles. Her performance perfectly highlights the lyrics through the verses as she lays out the story of the single. As the lyrics talk about needing medication, they also delve into the pressure having to fund prescriptions can bring. The chorus sees a drop in the vocal pitch that brings a marching feeling to the single. The contrast between the verse and chorus is amazing and really bolsters the messaging of the single. As the track continues, the lyrics delve into selling sex to afford medication. While this is a heavy topic, Karin has approached it in a light and almost fun way which strangely makes it hit even harder.

Bara Karin uses retro tones, soft synths, jangling pill bottles and varied vocals to bring an extremely interesting story to life in ‘Five Times a Day’. The melody is soft as it flows with a retro vibe that gets you floating along the single. Karin’s vocals move from high and alternative to a marching darkness.

Find out more about Bara Karin on her Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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