Music

"Defibrillation" - The Barr Brothers at Union Chapel in London, England on Feb 1, 2018 [YouTube Live Performance]

Band mesmerizes in performance video from gothic church
Patrick Henkels

by Patrick Henkels

Published July 10, 2018

The Barr Brothers have unveiled a beautiful live video for "Defibrillation,"  the opening track off their latest LP, Queens of the Breakers.  The performance was shared by the group's label, Secret City Records. 

A slow and heartfelt tune, "Defibrillation" opens with steady, rumbling percussion from Andrew Barr before multi-instrumentalist Sarah Pagé lays down atmospheric chords on keyboard with Brett Lanier playing the main guitar riff.  Lead singer and guitarist Brad Barr implements soft, yet spirited vocals supported by pleasant harmonies from his fellow bandmates.  While mostly subdued in its execution,  the performance includes climactic moments of soaring instrumentation.  Around the 3-minute mark, seamless harmonies and soaring instrumentation emphasize the sense of yearning that the song projects.  At the end of the video,  Andrew Barr closes the captivating presentation with impressive drum work.

The video features the folk band bathed in warm spotlights at London's Union Chapel on the February leg of their European tour.  Captured at a variety of angles, the Barr Brothers' talents can be appreciated more visually.  The attention to detail that the cameras follow depicts the remarkable level of musicianship shared by each member of the band.  

Released in October of last year, Queens of the Breakers is the Barr Brother's third studio album.  In a track-by-track breakdown with Relix, Brad Barr discussed the inspiration for "Defibrillation," and how the song came together:

This was the last song to be conceived, written and recorded for the album.  Andrew’s opening drum beat was the impetus for the tune.  Our mother had a small, not-really-consequential fall, but she needed stitches in her head.  He went to the emergency room with her at 1 a.m., and overheard two EKG machines pulsing.  They were lining up and then going out of sync, and then lining up.  I assume that they were monitoring two patients on the wing. 

When we got back to Montreal, he was like, “I’m gonna try and make a beat based off of that.”  He emailed that beat to me — we’d already started mixing the record — and I pinned the song on top of it really quickly.  Then, we got the Lucius girls to sing the bridge and they just sent the song to the next level.  It was the last tune to come to us and probably the one we spent the least amount of time laboring over. 

In a separate quote, Brad Barr talked about this specific performance, “It was one of our favourite shows and venues of that tour, a majestic 900 seat Gothic church built in the late 1800’s filled with one of the most generous audiences we could hope to play for. We hope this video transmits some of the joy and inspiration we felt that night.”

A production laced with intensity, the live performance video for "Defibrillation" is a fascinating experience that exemplifies the Barr Brother's penchant for emotion and intimacy within their music.  

Queens of the Breakers is available on Amazon and most major streaming services.

For more music, news, and tour dates, check out the Barr Brothers' Zumic artist page

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