TEXAS LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
#MUSICMONDAY: FOR THE BARRENS, ALL ROADS LEAD TO AUSTIN
BY GRACIE WATT
Playing country covers for weddings and farmer’s markets across San Antonio, vocalist Jordan Gibbons and guitarist Dana Smith decided it was time to showcase their songwriting and create original music. So in 2018, the duo took a leap of faith and headed to Austin.
The two spent more than a year searching for the best fit, ultimately forming The Barrens, an alt-country quintuplet. Musically, the group aligned effortlessly, bringing an edge to their traditional country roots. Gibbons and Smith had found their tune. With guitarist and back up vocalist Trey Connor, drummer Nick Chambers, and bassist Cory Chenoweth, the fivesome is seeing growing success, including winning Austin’s 2020 Jack Daniels x I Heart Radio Battle of the Bar Bands competition...
REVIEW: THE BARRENS TAKE A LOOK THROUGH YOUTH'S PINK SHADES ON STUNNING DEBUT EP - 'YOUNG'
BY ANTHONY KOZLOWSKI
It only takes a single verse into “Unfinished,” the second track off the debut EP by Austin alt-country band The Barrens, to feel a shift. For so long, mainstream country music has relied on huge pop choruses and the name-dropping of Southern lifestyle tropes (beer, trucks, and blue jeans to name a few), while forsaking a lot of its more intimate, confessional, and affecting roots. Once upon a time, the genre birthed from American folk life was a vessel for people to share their innermost secrets, their desires, their tragic losses. Nothing but three chords and the truth plucked out on acoustic guitars and weeping fiddles...
NEW RELEASES FROM LOCAL ARTISTS
For the love of God, disable that shuffle function on your Spotify.
With all due respect to the songs that keep showing up on your shuffle from your 2009-era musical taste, we've got a few suggestions for what to throw on instead. From local favorites to up-and-comers you may have never heard of before, here's your guide to New Music Releases from Local Artists: September, brought to you by yours truly at Do512 along with our pals over at Waterloo Sparkling Water...
RAISED ON IT
TEXAS-BASED BAND THE BARRENS, MAKE THEIR ENTRANCE TO COUNTRY MUSIC WITH DEBUT PROJECT “YOUNG”
They’ve been turning heads in Texas and with their debut project Young, it won’t be long before The Barrens are turning all of country music’s heads.
Led by lead vocalist Jordan Gibbons and lead guitarist Dana Smith, The Barrens offer a fresh and youthful sound that country music could use right now, particularly when it comes to groups. Rounding out the band is back up vocalist Trey Connor, drummer Nick Chambers and bassist Cory Chenoweth which helps the band create this full, rich sound that is such a pleasure to listen to.
And there is real momentum for The Barrens even prior to the release of this EP. Earlier this year they were announced as the winner of the Jack Daniels and iHeart Radio Battle of the Bar Bands in Austin. Building on that momentum they are ready to make their official foray into country music...
MUSIC MONDAY: THE BARRENS
It's time for Music Monday from Home! Like many great millennial friendships, this melodic party of five met by way of the internet, and after a series of jam sessions, The Barrens banded together! Their sound bends and blends genres into an effervescent mix of Americana. You can follow along with their journey on social media, and stream on Spotify, but first, here are The Barrens performing "Why Do I Bother?"...
ABOUT THE BAND
100 miles, and a fair amount of traffic on the I-35 corridor, are all that separates Austin from San Antonio. But for alternative-country, five-piece, The Barrens, it’s a literal world away.
When vocalists and founding members Jordan Gibbons and Dana Smith made the trek in 2017, they left behind whispers of county covers and a trail of empty stages at San Antonio farmer’s markets and local watering holes. The violet crown was their chance to showcase their songwriting and establish themselves as an original act.
But first, they’d need to expand their duo into a quintuplet.
Like many great millennial friendships, this melodic party of five— Jordan Gibbons, Dana Smith, Trey Connor, Nick Chambers, and Cory Chenoweth —met by way of the internet. A few fateful music forums and a series of jam sessions later, The Barrens banded together.
With a shared love of early alternative, they forged a sonic alignment, effortlessly bringing a similar edge to their traditional country roots. Their sound is distinctive and unpretentious, bending and blending genres into an effervescent mix of Americana.
The Barrens are currently planning a tour across Canada and the U.S. to support their debut EP, "Young" which is scheduled to hit the airwaves in early 2020.
Jordan Gibbons / Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Dana Smith / Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Trey Connor / Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nick Chambers / Drums
Cory Chenoweth / Bass