It may say “Minnesota” on Breanna Barbara’s birth certificate, but this singer-songwriter is undeniably the product of steamy Southern summers, the kind where the air’s so sultry that there’s nothing to do but crank up the amps and drown your sorrows in a pool of sweat. After making a name for herself playing house shows in St. Augustine, Florida, Barbara relocated to New York City and caught a lethal dose of cool from one too many wild nights at one too many loft parties. (That’s three distinct regions that Barbara has claimed as home one time or another, if you’re keeping track).
Barbara’s forthcoming album, Mirage Dreams, represents a mishmash of styles and influences from every place she’s ever called home. Southern blues and psychedelia tend to rise to the top, showing up in the groovy bass line of “Where’s My Baby” and the sliding guitar riffs of opener “Sailin’ Sailin’”, a song that also lays bare Barbara’s penchant for fucking shit up when the occasion suits her. There are bangers all over this album, many of which come punctuated with Barbara’s signature, “Owww owww!” (here’s lookin’ at you, “Mirage Dreams”) or some other form of cathartic vocal expression.
There’s a reason for all that release. “These songs have become a collection of inner strengths that I have been carrying around with me as early as 18,” Barbara explains. “It wasn’t until I met dream producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes) that they were able to come alive in the way I had imagined them. Inspired by everything from howling at the moon to heat strokes in New York City summers to the paradigm shift after a loved one passes away, this album is a culmination of my heart and soul and I am extremely excited to finally release it.”
And we’re just as excited to hear it. Mirage Dreams drops July 22nd via No Roads Records, but we’ve got the full stream for you below. Strap in and get ready to work up a sweat.