Breanna Barbara discusses the influences behind new album ‘Nothin’ But Time’
It's been six years since Breanna Barbara released her debut album, Mirage Dreams, and since then the psych-garage singer's career has taken some unusual turns. Most surprising: being recruited by Tricky to be his main touring vocalist in 2017 that has kept them collaborating since, including last year's Lonely Guest album. For her sophomore album, Nothin' But Time, Breanna hasn't undergone a radical trip-hop reinvention and works once again with producer/collaborator Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff), who makes the songs and her voice shine. You can listen to the whole thing below.
We asked Breanna to tell us a little more about the inspirations behind the album and she gave us a list of 10 songs, including ones by Gloria Ann Taylor, Bridget Fontaine, Alice Coltrane, and Grace Slick. Check out her list and commentary below.
BREANNA BARBARA - 10 INFLUENCES ON NOTHIN' BUT TIME
Andy Bey - "Celestial Blues"
When I first heard this song & saw the cover it stopped me in my tracks. I had been getting more into spiritual realms when singing & writing music but this song did it all for me. He sings about getting closer to the essence of life which is a feeling I was after. I would say it was the first spark for the celestial vision on the new album . Also, there's some incredible spacey sounds that appear throughout the whole record that I was really inspired by.
Gloria Ann Taylor - "How Can You Say It"
I was listening to a lot of 70's soul/pop/ R&B during the making of 'Nothin' But Time' but this song was the one I had on repeat. I'm particularly in love with the piano and percussion. On 'Devil' we hinted at this with the piano that trickles in at the end.
Alice Coltrane - "Journey into Satchidananda"
A perfect song (and album) It immediately puts you in a trance. Another incredible artist that makes music from a spiritual place. Sonically I was very inspired by the sounds of the harp on this song. If you listen closely you can hear some at the end of 'Nothin but Time.'
Index - "Shock Wave"
I've definitely been inspired by garage and 60's psychedelic rock greatly on this record so this song had to make the cut. I'm in love with the way the guitar and drums sound. Also it just has an energy that is infectious and exciting to me. I wanted to capture that for songs like 'Diamond Light,' 'Rise' Weight of the World,' & even a little bit of 'Weaning.' I wanted to write something fast and driving and intense.
The United States of America - "Hard Coming Love"
Once me and the band started covering this one it was hard for it not to seep into the music. So many great sounds happening but mainly I love the way that it has these really intense rock out parts then drops down so subtly for the vocal parts. I like to think that's a throughline on this album. Also Dorothy Moskowitz's voice is a dream!
Pete Drake & His Talking Steel Guitar - "Forever"
Speaking of dreams this is by far one of the dreamiest songs to exist. I think when I was writing 'Old Soul' & 'Exist' on the omnichord I was attempting to channel something like this song even though they came out a bit moodier, ha! We also used a talk box on 'Nothin' But Time' (it's making those sitar sounding notes in the chorus).
Grace Slick & The Great Society - "Sally Go Round The Roses"
Like I mentioned earlier I was definitely getting way more into psychedelic rock from the '60s but this may have been the first record that started it all for me. I really love the way the recording sounds and think her voice just shines on it. One of my favorite singers of all time.
Judy Henske - "High Flying Bird"
Another great female voice from the '60s. This track in particular I think inspired me especially on 'You Got Me High' & 'Me Too'. She does this intense guttural thing that is really something. I also love how her music laces in and out of jazz, folk and blues.
Bridgette Fontaine - "Le Goudron"
An incredibly hypnotic track that constantly inspired me to get more experimental / psychedelic. It also has amazing percussive and sitar sounds as well which we strived to use on 'Landslide' & 'Weight of the World.'
Akofa Akoussah - "I Tcho Tchass"
One of my all time favorite songs! I was listening to a lot of African soul from the '70s too but this song makes me melt. The guitar and vocals in particular. This song would always make me strive to sing with that much feeling.
BREANNA BARBARA - 2022 TOUR DATES
NOV 11 FRI - Easy Street Records & Cafe - Seattle, WA
NOV 12 SAT - The Airliner - Los Angeles, CA
NOV 17 THU - Rough Trade NYC - New York, NY
NOV 18 FRI - TV Eye - Ridgewood, NY