Previously featured musician Garrett Laurie has recently released their second EP ‘Barbies With Betty Finn‘. The EP (its title- a nod to the 90’s cult classic ‘Heathers’) deals with themes of nostaliga, spirituality, and gender- with a more DIY, stripped back sound. Garrett spoke to The Jumble Magazine all about the release.
I began writing the songs for this project over a year ago, starting with ‘Dying To Tell You’, which is the opening track of the EP. I was working on mixing and releasing my first EP, ‘Crying on Cue’ at the beginning of the lock downs last year, figuring out how I could release music under the sudden restraints we were all dealing with. Although I believe in that project, I can’t help but hear the restrictions in it, being recorded in a friend’s home studio months before its release and not being able to do any vocal retakes, ad libs, harmony layers etc, which is a huge part of my music. I planned for this new EP, ‘Barbies With Betty Finn‘ from the beginning to be recorded solely on phone voice-notes, with more of a focus on the lyrical content within a live sound. It just made sense for the times we are in right now and I feel that the lo-fi quality of the project speaks for the themes I touch on in the songs…nostalgia for unhealthy habits and grappling with my ideas about religion and spirituality for example.
I wrote these songs over 10 or 11 months, with most of the actual lyrical content being written just a few months before the release. In the closing track, ‘Three Hail Marys, To Our Fathers’, I’m singing about my views on gender which I feel come largely from the religious influences I grew up around. It’s a love-hate relationship with them…sometimes there’s a guardian figure waiting by to carry you through everyday things, and sometimes there’s a feeling something important is missing when suddenly it seems there maybe isn’t some elusive figure there to lean on like you thought there was. Likening those figures to everyday friendships and relationships is the core of the song, which I look at as more of a reflective, musical poem than the song structure I would normally lean towards.
‘Barbies With Betty Finn‘ is raw, honest, and reflective. Laurie’s unique blend of melancholy folk and soft, layered choir like vocals shine through on ‘Three Hail Marys, To Our Fathers’ and their lyrics are just as clever and cutting as the song titles throughout. This EP’s homemade sound adds an air of intimacy and a personal touch. Laurie has done a fantastic job in resourcefully cutting back on the recording process- the EP almost sounds like its playing out in front of you live in real time- a feeling a lot of music fans are sure to want right now.
Review by Sam Dineen
Stream ‘Barbies with Betty Finn’ now on Spotify and Bandcamp and follow Garrett Laurie on Instagram and Facebook for updates ‘Three Hail Marys, To Our Fathers’ is also featured on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist, which you can check out here.