Honey Barbara | Wave Grass

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Rock: Psychedelic Pop: Chamber Pop Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Wave Grass

by Honey Barbara

Short instrumental and vocal tracks intermittently off set by strings, brass and reeds.
Genre: Rock: Psychedelic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vivoras D'oro
2:25 $0.99
2. Bazaar
2:53 $0.99
3. Mystery of the Plain
2:49 $0.99
4. On the Beach
2:01 $0.99
5. And the Sea Will Give Up It's Dead
4:52 $0.99
6. She Guides Us Towards the Sun
2:14 $0.99
7. The Longest Week
3:17 $0.99
8. Unseen Girl
3:11 $0.99
9. The Magician's Wife
2:27 $0.99
10. Farewell for Now
2:14 $0.99
11. White Mountain
3:32 $0.99
12. Baobab
4:39 $0.99
13. Last Wave
3:35 $0.99
14. Late in the Day
4:41 $0.99
15. Driftwood
3:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The album "Wave Grass" finds the band Honey Barbara exploring a mix of pure
instrumentals with a sprinkling of tracks that feature vocals.
The surprisingly close, tactile-and, then again dynamic-nature of the acoustic
and electric instrumentation resonates well with wholesome sounds and deja-vu-like
reverberations that reveal here a country, or there a psychedelic accent all woven
in together.
Additional musicians, as well, join the band on various tracks to further extend the
album's sound.



to write a review

Sea of Tranquility

Honey Barbara: Wave Grass

It's difficult to exactly pin down what Honey Barbara are; a collective of three, joined by two and augmented by ten. There are loops, hooks and acousticals all gently jostling to be seen and heard across a selection of cuts which also includes electrics and all manner of lesser spotted instruments. Now I say "loops", but these would appear to all be organically performed and more a case of gentle grooves found, refound and found once more both within and from song to song, a keen sense of "where did I hear that piece before?" all part of the journey.

Much of this shimmering foray is instrumental and yet a collection of guest vocalists also join and excuse themselves from the party, adding colour and intrigue to the gentle flow of sounds which come lolling and lapping to your ears. Whether through the upbeat 60s beats of "The Magician's Wife", or Eastern music box tick and whirr of "BAOBAN" this initially catchy conglomeration actually proves remarkably stand offish and challenging. You could describe it as art rock, but without the pretensions, progressive without the prog, or pop music without the choruses. Although none really bring you all that close to the reality of music which reaches its climactic conclusions in the most unfussy of circumstances. In many ways that lack of oomph leaves you more engaged by the whole journey, as the songs stroll past without the need for crescendo or bombast, and yet with no big pay off, the voyage through 15 tracks which all vary, but in similar ways, can lose appeal and interest. All too often the sudden, unexpected brush of vocals snaps the attention back into gear, the realisation that the admittedly beautiful strains of "Last Wave", or intricately percussive "Bazaar" have kept on, as your mind wandered off.
The performances are wonderful, a real sense that all involved are pulling many facets in the same direction for shared goals, aided by quite masterful arranging. And yet somehow it isn't quite enough to suggest that a fair proportion of Wave Grass wouldn't feel more fully rounded with visuals to bring the ideas together in a more memorable fashion.
It's difficult to exactly pin down what Honey Barbara are, and in the end that's maybe why an album of such craft and guile feels remote and off hand. The skill in putting the whole thing together is there for all to hear, however the motivation to not treat the results as the most loving and cared for background music is hard to find.

Jerry Kranitz

Honey Barbara – “Wave Grass” (Gifted Amateur Recordings 2015, CD/DL)
Honey Barbara – “Wave Grass” (Gifted Amateur Recordings 2015, CD/DL)

August 5, 2015 Aural Innovations Uncategorized

Though new to me, Honey Barbara have released two previous albums in 2001 and 1993, and core member James Sidlo has come to Aural Innovations in various projects over the years in such bands as Transcollaboration, Pseudo Buddha, Dreamland, and others I’m probably forgetting.

There’s a lot happening on these 15 songs, which despite their accessibility are difficult to describe due to the cool and strange variety of styles and influences. A lot of the tracks would be right at home on various types of 60s movie soundtracks. Vivoras D’oro has a bouncy 60’s Beat-Pop feel and brings to mind a Henry Mancini score. Only one word can describe this tune – GROOVY! Other songs travel a similar path, some with a more Prog-like instrumental and compositional complexity and others with an ambient-soundscape vibe and, like Mystery Of The Plain, combine freaky electronic effects and groovy 60s doo-doo-doo vocalizations. The Magician’s Wife accomplishes a lot in only 2 minutes, sounding perfect for a Frankie and Annette beach movie, but it goes off into all kinds of Ambient-Jazz and Mancini with a Prog twist territory. We’ve got pleasant acoustic melodic tunes bordering on Exotica and melodic orchestrated tunes with a beautiful ambience and 60s vibe. I like the lysergically sultry Baobab, and really dig the mixture of 60s Beat-Pop and Exotica on Unseen Girl, with its Psychedelic vibe and nifty ambient guitar fills.

And The Sea Will Give Up Its Dead is a standout, being a Prog-Psych vocal number with cool ripping fuzz guitar and effects, but also a deeply ambient quality. She Guides Us Toward The Sun is similar, being beautifully melodic and dreamily trippy (as are the lyrics) but also has a Prog Rock quality, though it’s very subtle and flowing. White Mountain is a dreamily melodic and pastoral Ambient-Psychedelic song with soaring trip guitar embellishments, beautifully playful piano melody, light electro orchestration and hypnotic vocals. And Late In The Day is psychedelically surreal, with moods that wander from playful to intense, plus film soundtrack Eastern vibes and spaced out orchestration and effects.

In summary, and it’s tough to tidily summarize this album, but imagine Henry Mancini and Ennio Morricone dropping a tab or two and then rolling up their sleeves for a Prog-Psych soundtrack collaboration and you might… you just MIGHT… get something like Wave Grass.

Download and purchase the CD at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/honeybarbara
The promo sheet says a vinyl LP edition is in the works

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz