Music Review

bar italia – Tracey Denim

todayMay 25, 2023 547

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By – Kristi Houk

If you like: Slowdive, Horsegirl, The Cure, Ivy

Matador Records

It’s getting dark in here…
Listening to Tracey Denim, the new album from London based trio, bar italia just as the weather is sun blasting us with upper 8o degree temps reminds me of that time I watched The Jesus and Mary Chain perform live at 2:00 in the afternoon. The fog machines don’t quite work during the day. Or do they? The goth-y sentiments ring true despite the time of day or season. Where my goths at?

Anyway, the influences on Tracey Denim are obvious. There’s definitely some Pronography-era Cure in there and some bass lines that clearly resemble Peter Hook from Joy Division. Influences notwithstanding, what makes this album great is the different perspectives from each vocalist. Nina Cristante delivers melodic, dreamy vocals with existential one liners that get trapped in your head. “I just want to lose control.”   Sam Fenton and Jezmi TarikFehmi’s bored but sometimes contemplative sneers strike the perfect balance.  The majority of the tracks are a call and response on topics like unrequited love, existential dread, and just wanting a way out.

On the single, “Nurse!” musically the song meanders and languishes while Cristante loosely reveals how hard it’s been to live. Reminds me of the 90’s trio, Ivy. It’s almost as if the band has been reading confessional poetry a la Anne Sexton. Particularly the poem “Flee on Your Donkey:”

“Everyone has left me
except my muse, that good nurse.
She stays in my hand, a mild white mouse.”

To which Cristante replies:

“Your chest wide open,
your heart is hurting
you feel like leaving
when no one’s looking
But you will make it to the other side
You know it’s just another night”

Whatever gets you through the night, yes? We haven’t heard the last of bar italia—we are in for a treat with this band. Stay tuned.  

Written by: jamric

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