The picturesque backdrop of the music video for “She’s a Little Wildflower” aside, there’s no debating what the real star of Barry Muir’s latest release is – it’s got to be his charming lead vocal and powerful onscreen presence. While he’s not indulging in a lot of theatrics for this performance, he’s breathing life into the lyrics via the imagery in this video like few others in his scene can, and although this is hardly his first rodeo as a singer/songwriter, he doesn’t seem anything other than optimistic in both his delivery and the presentation he gives here.
Muir’s confidence is definitely something to be in awe of, but I think it’s worth saying that he doesn’t translate as cocky with his verses at all. Where a lot of other singer/songwriters might have come into this same narrative with a more urgent approach to the lyricism, he’s relaxed for the entirety of this performance, swelling the harmonies with nothing more than a smooth modulation rather than more oomph from his delivery. He knows how to play in a disciplined manner, and if you didn’t think so before stumbling across this or his new album Gentle, you’re going to know otherwise now.
These harmonies, not unlike the magic we find in tracklist mates “Church at the Hollywood,” “Weathered the Storm,” and “Baby, You’re My Weakness,” are organic through and through, and it’s nice to know that Barry Muir doesn’t need to beef up the synthetics when he’s offstage. Contrarily, this is a more stripped-down look than many of his closest contemporaries would ever be comfortable producing on their own, especially given the interest in surreal pop songcraft blowing up in the United States and Canada right now. This man has no interest in trends; instead, he’s got his own story to tell here.
Gentle has been a record consistently getting good press and critical praise since it was first released not too long ago, and with regards to its most definitive track, I don’t know that you’re going to find another identity piece quite as moving and all-encapsulating as “She’s a Little Wildflower” is. “Mistakes I’ve Made” and the title track come quite close, though I would say that those who take a peek at Gentle are likely to find all of its material to follow the same artistic narrative – and produce the same level of chills in songs slow and urgent alike.
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