Three years ago, vocalist Jordan Gibbons and guitaristDana Smith made a trek to Austin. After years of playing country covers for weddings and farmer’s markets across San Antonio, the two wanted to showcase their songwriting and create original music with a new band.
The duo spent more than a year scouring the city and internet for the best fit, ultimately forming The Barrens, an alternative-country quintuplet. With a shared love of early 2000’s rock, they forged a musical alignment, effortlessly bringing a similar edge to their traditional country roots. Their sound is distinctive and unpretentious; traveling a sonically sophisticated middle path, tracks expand the bounds of their alt-country sound, flanked with relatable and conversational lyrics. The band’s name is as layered and nostalgic as their music. It was gifted from Smith’s uncle who played in a 1970s Chicago jazz band of the same name. The family heirloom also reflects the dusty but determined landscape of Bergheim, Texas, where the original band members met and began playing music together.
The band’s debut EP, Young, is a six-song record about the loss and reclaiming of innocence. Through songs like “Pink Shades” and “Eventually,” the band invites listeners to remember their youth, its experiences and feelings: all of which can offer solace in the present. Each song is conversational, with engaging, resonant lyrics that will bring comfort in an increasingly uncomfortable world.
Nothing captures any of these themes better than the title track. The video features the band as they sing and perform their way throughout the song juxtaposed with vignettes of scenes that will lift your spirit with its display of slice of life and joy.
Jordan Gibbons comments “I wrote “Young” after scrolling through some old high school photos/videos on my hard drive of me and my best friends. It took me back to those carefree days we had as teenagers – not a care in the world. I just celebrated my ten year high school reunion this past summer, so it was cool to get to release that song alongside that milestone. COVID delayed the celebration a little bit, but we’re planning a big party when it’s all done. “