When I caught him on the phone, Barnes confessed, “I don’t think there was a time when I wanted to be a musician.”
Growing up, it was his dad’s love for Michael Jackson that made Barnes curious about writing songs. He fooled around with digital synths and beats from a young age, and this sense of experimentation seems to continue straight through to the 7th Speaks Obsessed EP.
A graduate of Eastwood Collegiate, Kitchener’s arts-focused high school, Barnes now splits his time between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto.
From track to track, Barnes tries on different personas. Between Afro-Cuban salsa, 80s pop, R&B, and new-school hip-hop, this is an EP that takes you for a wild ride.
Definitely turn up your headphones for Soft on Water’s opening fuzzy funk guitar riff, which will have you involuntarily dancing in your seat. The album is full of slick licks that wouldn’t be out of place in a Daft Punk or Ratatat song.
The music is so eclectic that the album almost becomes a pastiche, but it’s clear that Barnes is just having fun. Maybe I should heed the first lines of the opening track: “There ain’t nothing wrong for you to let go / Why don’t you sing it, it’s alright, mama.”