Breanna Barbara Has a New Spooky Single Raising Money for Social Justice

Breanna Barbara Has a New Spooky Single Raising Money for Social Justice

A new single from Breanna Barbara that combines melancholy and spookiness is also raising money for a social justice organization.

Breanna Barbara is a Queens based artist who’s just released a new single, “Big Bang Blues.” If you’ve been looking for a brand new song to accompany a sad mood, look no further. Her previous album, 2016’s Mirage Dreams, mixed sounds and genres freely, melding blues, rock, country, and more indie sounds with Barbara’s often gentle but always evocative voice. This track takes another path, one that’s almost gothic in its atmosphere, with a stripped down sound accompanied by some eerie electric guitar feedback. And it’s more than just a solid track. Barbara is donating all digital proceeds to Until Freedom, an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice.

The track begins slowly, with simply strumming and breathy vocals. It’s echoey, dark, and moody. There’s some faint feedback from an electric guitar that sounds like ghostly calls. Steady bare percussion crashes in during the chorus. The electric guitar occasionally emerges to play some delicate, haunting riffs, but its real power is in the texture brought by the feedback. It has plucky sounds that make you think of spiders, and more echoey, almost theremin-like sounds. The percussion fading in and out adds a tension, while the constant, unadorned acoustic strumming keeps the song rolling onward. Barbara’s vocals stay at a low, breathy volume, but retain an emotional power. The song starts to quiet down, scratching electric guitar strings and acoustic strumming fade until Barbara’s voice says the final lines at just above a whisper.

The song takes its time with simple lyrics and oft repeated lines. Barbara packs a punch, capturing a late-night melancholy mood. It’s not hopeless, but it feels like those moments when you are sad or mournful and you don’t want to stop feeling that way. The title “Big Bang Blues” captures a sort of weariness with everything, back to the very beginning of time. The first verse is especially relatable: 

“I’ve been wastin’ time

Thinking about my life

I’ve been wastin’ time

Thinking about my life

If it will be alright

Think it will be just fine

Think it will be alright”

The repetitions highlight the cyclical nature of sadness, like quicksand you can slip deeper into. Some of the later lines in the song paint a bleak picture, “We’re just dust in the darkness / Floating around the big abyss,” but they are all part of the haunting, mournful atmosphere the song creates.

Breanna Barbara’s new single is a fantastic, moody song that’s the perfect soundtrack for feeling sad in the middle of the night. And better yet, all digital proceeds go to Until Freedom, so check it out on Bandcamp.