Bandcamp of the Day: James Barrett

Scranton singer and songwriter James Barrett wrote the majority of his most ambitious work to date while alone in his home- but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the ambition to be heard by as many people as possible. A Series Of​.​.​. Mostly Nothing sees James reaching towards the brass ring that all powerpop bands aim to grasp, even if they can’t admit it to themselves- that is, to muster a sound large enough to fill the full volume of an atrium, so that even the people in the cheap seats feel like they are front row for the show.

While we won’t know how his arena-sized riffs and big romantic melodies will play in an arena setting quite yet, it’s hard to deny that he doesn’t already have the makings of a superstar in this regard. James is an assiduous student of the way in which The National set the stage for a confessional communion with their audience, and has managed to cultivate the emotionally supercharged uplift of Angels & Airwaves. Combined with a hint of working-class grit a la the strum and strut of John Cougar Mellencamp, there isn’t much that seems capable of standing in James’s way.

“The Art of Letting Go” will knock down the door to your heart with a rockin’ four-on-the-floor beat and melodies that expand and flutter like an eagle’s wings riding a warm, jet stream current. “Oh My God” has a breezy, summery melt and constant reassuring pressure suffice throughout its chord progressions, making it feel somewhere between a twirling waltz and a full-body hug. And then there are the acoustic guitar lead numbers, of which the fingerpicking brush and fussy blush of “Master Plan” is an undeniable standout. Let James take you someplace magical today, even if that place is nowhere in particular. Sometimes it’s not where you go, but who you are there with that matters more- someone who has something to say, who has something you desperately want to hear, and who speaks with the assurance that they will listen with their whole heart to what you have to say in response.

Buy and stream A Series Of​.​.​. Mostly Nothing via Bandcamp below:

A Series Of​.​.​. Mostly Nothing is out via Refresh Records. 

Follow James Barrett on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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