Saturday, March 2, 2024

Lisa Barca’s Got Beauty & Brains

Lisa Barca combines driving guitars with a voice that’s said to shift seamlessly from an intimate whisper to a power belt and back again, leaving you energised, intrigued, and wanting more.

Barca released her debut single ‘Clean And Clear’ in November of 2022 when it was picked up by KWSS 93.9 FM Arizona Rock and aired on the Local Spotlight. The song reclaims pop music from this millennium’s vapid autotune dolls to deliver a song of hope and optimistic ambitions over driving guitars. A second single, ‘Into the Ground’, released in June 2023, snarled out lyrical witticisms with punk attitude and garnered over 3,000 Spotify streams in the week following its release as well as placement on curated playlists such as Arizona’s Best New Rock.  That was followed by ‘Beauty And Brains’, in October 2023, that came on like The Jam’s Bruce Foxton had played bass for a Go-Go’s session, and when compared to a song like Goth-dirge ‘Party Day’ reflects her diverse ability to look at the human condition in a myriad of ways.

Writing and performing melodic indie rock with radio-friendly pop hooks delivered with the raw energy and immediacy of punk, Barca adds sophisticated arrangements and layers of vocal harmonies to produce recordings that have made her a fan favorite with a growing following. Her deceptively deep lyrics display a poeticism that transcends the status quo.

Barca started writing songs in a drafty studio apartment in a rough part of downtown New Haven CT, playing them on sidewalks, in subways, and in small clubs in the northeastern USA,

while also performing her poetry in coffeeshops. Upon moving to Arizona, she founded a punk band in the satirical and brash vein of bands like The Dead Kennedys and Sleater-Kinney. When the pandemic began, she changed direction and focused on writing and recording songs with a pop sensibility and 90s radio-rock vibe inspired by female artists of that era such as Veruca Salt and Liz Phair: catchy, lyric-driven and melodic with an edge and a heaviness and a brutally frank approach.

“Songwriting for me is about giving a shape and an outlet to emotions and finding a moment of transcendence amid the uncertainties and pain of living in this world,” said Barca, and noted that recording and releasing those songs demands “getting clear about what it means to assert an artist identity. It’s like ‘Here I am—I’m putting myself out there to the world in a way that to me feels authentic, and honest, and defiant.’ It takes so much confidence, which I’ve worked to build up in myself. It’s really wonderful as an artist to know that people are resonating that.”

Barca is in the process of recording a full-length album, slated for release in the summer of 2024, at Full Well Recording Studio in Phoenix, AZ with producer Kolby Peoples. “It’s been a mind-bendingly fruitful partnership, working with Kolby,” she mused. “He has an incredibly astute ear and knows exactly how to get the sounds needed for each track.

“An unexpected plus is that his immersion in prog metal à la the bands Periphery and Tesseract has inspired a very modern, complex and multi-layered audial character to the recordings. It works surprisingly well with my songs, which are, at their core, in more of a power-pop and 90s grunge and punk-inspired style. It’s an unusual, genre-crossing sound and that’s part of what’s getting attention.”

With a signature sound, increasing recognition, and the personality and perseverance to make things happen, Barca is on her way to a breakthrough in her musical career. That in addition to her musical endeavours, she is a professor of English and Humanities and holds a PhD, while being an advocate for animal rights proves just as impressive.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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