The beauty of a city like Austin is that you can come here, and without much trouble, be pretty much anything you want. That’s part of what makes it such a vibrant music town. Every new addition to the music scene here is one more facet in our little diamond by the Colorado, and doing her part to make it shine a little bit brighter is singer and songwriter Joanna Barbera.
Barbera grew up in a small town in the Hudson Valley just north of the New York-New Jersey border. She may be a New Yorker by birth, but she cut her teeth in some of Austin’s most Austin clubs including The Cactus Cafe, The Saxon Pub and Antone’s. Barbera released her debut disc Carnival Beginning back in 2009. With her debut, Barbera had her feet planted firmly in the singer-songwriter-folk camp, but there are hints of added texture that she uses to full effect on her latest album Forget, which hits the streets this week with a release show at Holy Mountain this Thursday (June 27).
Speaking of Barbera’s new record, the lead track is a strutting bit of downtown rock ‘n’ roll called “Tempt Me.” Barbera strikes a defiant tone in the steady, propulsive beat, but there’s a fragility in her emotive vocals, like she’s trying bury some deep, deep pain. The punchy, brooding minor-key chords only add to the psychological push-and-pull at work on the song, and make it all the more alluring.