Jill Barber: Girl's Gotta Do
The stylistically eclectic Vancouver singer/songwriter teases a new album with a vibrant R&B-inflected lead single. Co-written with Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother, its message of female empowerment is timely in this era of #MeToo.
By Kerry Doole
Jill Barber - "Girl's Gotta Do" (Outside Music): Pinning down this Vancouver-based singer/songwriter stylistically is about as easy as finding a grain of truth from the mouth of El Presidente. She first made a major mark as a retro-sounding and sweet-voiced jazz/pop singer, but effectively detoured into roots territory in 2016 with Family Album, a duo record with brother Matthew Barber.
We're not sure what to expect on her imminent solo album Metaphora, coming out on June 22, based on this lead single. "Girl's Gotta Do" is a co-write with Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother, not the most obvious choice for Barber. It is shaping up as a hit, however, recently hitting No. 1 on CBC Music's Top 20 Chart after just five weeks.
The track shows increased vocal vigour on Barber's part, and there's an upbeat R&B tinge to it. A label press release quotes Barber as explaining that the song is lyrically designed "to challenge the patriarchal status quo, as we usher in a new era of equality. " A timely topic indeed.
Another label release explains that "Metaphora is a continuation of Barber's musical story that confidently tackles everything from issues of empowerment, sexual politics, the complications of love, and depression. It's introspective and personal. It's also a dance party." The primary producer on the album is Gus Van Go (Whitehorse, Arkells, Terra Lightfoot), while Guldemond co-wrote three other tracks.
Barber will tour extensively through the summer and fall, beginning with a June 18 appearance at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival. She has dates in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and the West, Sept. through Nov.
Publicity: Stephanie Hardman, Outside Music