Postcards from Europa and Ganymede

Since seeing Sam Barber play live yje other week with TV21, I’ve been listening a lot to his 5 track ‘Valley of Silence’ release which is available free from ReverbNation. VOS is also supposed to be just part 1 of a larger release.

I said last week that he reminded me of a more sane Red Organ Serpent Sound which, admittedly isn’t the most obvious reference point. Listening to the E.P. though another band pops to mind. The ridiculously catchy ‘Escape Velocity’ has both a mid 70s feel to it and also, thanks to the banks of acoustic guitars, and vocal delivery of the verse, brings to mind long lost 80s band the Jack Rubies. Who, again, aren’t going to ring many bells these days. Still the comparison has a degree of validity. Barber, like the JRs before him, concentrates his efforts on songwriting rather than any stab at developing a new sound.

Most of the tunes are piano led – ‘Enceladus’ is a slightly regretful tune, ‘Parallel Universe’ is the other stand-out pop song on the record whilst ‘Jupiter’ which is most atypical track in the record – a majestic instrumental.

There’s also a definite sci-fi slant to the lyrics. ‘Parallel Universe’ may well be a love song but it’s a decidedly barking one taking in alternate realities, singularities and alien visitors.

There’s a lot of reasons that ‘Valley of Silence’ is never going to be a hip release. But if you’re interested in well, written and perfomed tunes then it’s well worth checking out Get it for free here.

The video for ‘Parallel Universe’: