Band: Barr

CD Title: “Skogsbo is the Place”

Band Website: WWW.barrmusic.se 

Label: Sakuntala Records

Label Website: www.recordheaven.net 

Release Date: 2008

 

One of the larger influences on the progressive rock movement, besides classical music, would certainly be folk music. To that point there is a wide range of folk-prog cross-over bands like Strawbs, Fairport Convention and Pentangle to name a few. Picking up on this influence but staying very much in the folk-idiom is a new band out of Sweden called Barr. They’re a six-member outfit that craft harmonious music that is decidedly acoustic in nature. It’s also dreamy, soft and soulful with just a hint of psychedelia.Barr have just released their first official recording entitled Skogsbo is the Place.

 

What we’re looking at is a CD of seven compositions, three of which are over six minutes, one over ten minutes and a couple shorter pieces. Although it should be pointed out the ten-minute track is really two shorter pieces connected with a bit of silence. Many of these pieces are connected by the sounds of nature, birds, trees rustling etc. The psychedelic influence appears mostly from the band’s style of percussion which many times sounds like hand percussion on bongos etc. These tracks are all mid-tempo and while they don’t feature any dramatic shifts in time and tempo, its music that will appeal to prog fans who like the music of the bands mentioned or who enjoy music created by bands like Mellow Candle. All the songs are sung in English, with both male and female vocals, and feature an arrangement of acoustic guitars, accordions, some woodwinds and so forth. But while the compositions appear simple on the outside, the band’s deft hand at arrangements is strong and that gives each of these compositions more depth. In addition Barr’s particular compositional style is one that takes a simple melody and adds more and more instrumental intensity building to some pleasant crescendos. With just a few lyrics or lines they elevate repetition to a fine art.

 

Some will undoubtedly question Barr’s proggy credentials, but so be it. Barr perform in a folk style with some progressive influences and embellishments. The music is designed to be moody, introspective and atmospheric and in that regard the band accomplishes their task in spades. Skogsbo is the Place is a very pleasant listen and I’d certainly recommend it fans of early Strawbs or any of the other bands mentioned. If you’re looking for something a little different you may want to check these guys out.

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