Exposé Online banner

Sally Barry — Renditions
(Green Monkey GMR1056, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-12-31

Renditions Cover art

Sally Barry is a singer with a musical career that started in the mid-80s New York punk scene, but Renditions is a small-scale effort that might be called outsider art-folk. Like many outsider artists, she pursues her craft with a certain naiveté that’s far removed from the polished recordings of most releases. Barry’s unstudied voice takes on the songs of Mark Brunke, who also plays guitar and contributes and occasional vocals. The other contributor is Ruth Davidson, who was a founding member of the chamber rock band Moraine and adds guitar and cello. The overall feeling is of three musical friends getting together in a homey atmosphere and recording the results of their informal sessions. There are 22 songs, only three of which top four minutes in length. Sometimes the arrangements consist of just Barry’s voice and two acoustic guitars, but at other times there’s squalling feedback from an electric guitar, though it’s mixed in such a way that it doesn’t overpower the acoustic. Cello only appears on a few tracks, and provides a welcome added timbre. If I had to pick a single word to describe Renditions, it would be “intimate.” Listening is like sitting in their living room with them while they made it. I can imagine Mark saying, “Hey, I’ve got another one, let me find the lyric sheet… Okay, Ruth, the chords go like this…” And they’re off. This is a kind of Americana that doesn’t have some of the overt trappings of acid folk but has a similar attitude. Another way of thinking of it is (mostly) acoustic renditions of songs that in a different context would be avant-punk gems along the lines of Blonde Redhead or Xiu Xiu. Lyrical subject matter tends to the dark, with loss, tragedy, death, and pain evident… in short, ordinary life. Renditions may be far removed from the normal stream of art rock, but its simple directness has great power and sincerity.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Sally Barry

More info
http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/renditions

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jaga Jazzist - What We Must & Spydeberg Sessions – This Norwegian band has been refining their particular brand of jazz (if that’s what you want to call it) for nearly ten years now, and while some things remain the same from their beginnings,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues