Barbarisms

If you’re looking for an album to ease the slide from late summer to autumn you could do worse than reach for Barbarism’s self-titled debut. The brainchild of Stockholm based American Nicholas Faraone – alongside collaborators Tom Skantze and Robin Af Ekenstam – the group’s sound is pitched somewhere between the playful jangle of Jeffrey Lewis and the off-kilter wisdom of Guided By Voices. The result is an LP that overflows with bittersweet and eccentric ideas, as Farone’s scratchy vocal floats in and out of focus across dreamy guitar-led melodies.

Farone’s ex-pat position sees him reframing Americana from afar with a wide-eyed frankness; his visions made real in a series of bittersweet and wistful odes to friendship, loneliness, love and pizza eating child stars, while his lyrics hold a lilting innocence and wit that belie their intent, such as on ‘Gaudy Falsetto’, which is built around the soft refrain “I fingered you like a brilliant guitar with dirty strings.” The result is a fine debut; a captivating slice of lo-fi wonder that shines like a gem shimmering in a pool of darkness.

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