Barley and The Durt launch album tonight

Moncton-based singer-songwriter Kolin Barley continues his exploration of life and love with his second album, Skeleton Closet, released today with a celebratory show at Moncton’s Oxygen Nightclub. Tagged as a writer of “aggressively provocative rock songs,” Barley would probably excitedly tell you that he and his band mates had achieved exactly what they had set out to do with the making of their newest record.

Having the opportunity to gel with band mates Robin Anne Ettles, Alex Madsen, John Maher and Moe Fougere in the time leading up to the making of Skeleton Closet, Barley and his merry band of musicians toured from the east coast through to Winnipeg last year in a Winnebago that Barley himself had rented. The quintet also logged countless hours of rehearsal all in efforts to help fine-tune the group’s performance before hitting the studio.

So was all the planning worth it?

“We had road-tested these songs over a six-month period before recording and ultimately got exactly what we were after. This album is the exact sound that Robin (Anne Ettles, producer of the record) and I were going for,” Barley says. “I don’t consider my voice to be the prettiest by any means but while recording, we found some effects that really suited the sound we wanted, a sound that we felt matched the identity that the band has made for itself.”

From the time of conception through to recording, Barley mentions a year and a half quickly passed him by. With 11 songs on the record, Barley and his band eschewed the potential stuffiness of formal recording studios, choosing to make the record in non-standard environments.

“The drums were actually recorded in the Capitol Theatre, which I should really thank Marc Chouinard for,” he says. “There was a microphone which John (Maher) had placed in the middle of the theatre that helped give us the specific sound we wanted to get with the drums. The remainder of the record was recorded in a cottage in Shediac over the course of one week.”

Even though their latest CD is just about to be released, Barley discloses that he has enough material for another two records waiting to be recorded. Whether or not it ends up being him that records his songs is another matter all together.

“I tend to write songs all the time and have been writing with a couple of other local musicians. Ultimately, I am interested in trying to get my songs out to whoever wants to sing them.”

Article published in October 28, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript