Shoplifting with Barrie

Rough Trade Records

April 8th, 2023


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Before her performance in our NYC store and in honor of her new EP 5K, Barrie joined us for a little bit of Shoplifting!

Photos by Olivia Cummings

Brooklyn-based musician and producer Barrie Lindsay, known simply as Barrie, has a passion for creating left-of-center pop music. She spends her days writing songs and tinkering in Logic, stockpiling her creations in a vast archive of folders and hard drives. When it came time to select the songs for her sophomore LP, Barbara, she narrowed it down to sixteen tracks. As the record came together, it became clear that there would be two separate projects – the first being Barbara, an emotionally charged collection of songs dealing with the loss of a parent, the love of a new partner, and finding one’s own identity. The remaining five tracks, which were more light-hearted and off the cuff, were compiled into a new project titled 5K out now via Winspear!

We caught up with Barrie at our NYC store for our newest session of Shoplifting. An invitation to roam the racks in pursuit of the recorded material which has most inspired and shaped her sound today.


From Alex G to Chrissie Hynde, Barrie’s taste and inspiration comes from all over.

Sufjan StevensIllinoise

This was a very formative album for me in High School when it came out. The idea of writing music as layers, looping, layering loops, hadn’t occurred to me somehow until Sufjan Stevens. Maybe because in pop music, obviously, they do that in really polished, highly produced pop. But with Sufjan, because especially in these early records he uses so many orchestral timbres and stuff, you can hear the individual instruments, whereas in Justin Timberlake songs, I don’t know where the synth begins and where the synth ends. And so I feel like I learned how to write songs on a structural level from a lot of these songs and I learned a lot about lyrics and the confidence of pursuing whatever your sound is, because he obviously has taken from artists before him, but I feel like he really made his own little micro-genre and he really spoke to me a lot of and clearly, from the music today, spoke to a lot of burgeoning musicians. I feel like it’s a classic. He had figured out how to write songs and he was experimenting with arrangements. My friend in high school put “Casimir Pulaski Day” on a mix for me, and that was like the first Sufjan song I ever heard and I was like “What the fuck is this?” I always come back to him. There’s some of those bands you liked in high school that are phases and some that are lifelong references and album after album, I’m like, “How do I make this a Sufjan album?”

Gabby’s World – O.K.

This next album is by FKA Eskimo now known as Gabby’s World, who happens to be my wife. But outside of that is an incredible songwriter, musician, producer. “Broken Necks” on this album is one of those songs that I had stuck in my head for weeks at a time. This is an album full of bangers and the album art is also gorgeous embroidered art. Similar to Sufjan, she knows what she wants and figures out how to make it while just relying totally on herself. She had a band for this album and from what I heard they fleshed out a lot of the songs. But hearing her new music, which is coming out now, called Gabby’s Sword, it’s cool hearing the songwriting and the seeds of what her production has grown into in these earlier albums. When we first started dating, I hadn’t heard the album, so I listened to O.K. and Beast on Beast, her other beautiful album that I really like, walking around New York City. So this is very special to me.

Barrie and Gabby

Fountains of WayneOut-of-State Plates

This one I haven’t really spent a lot of time with, which is kind of why I pulled it, because the ones that I have spent a lot of time with, I spent a LOT of time with. Adam Schlesinger was the songwriter for Fountains of Wayne and he died of COVID in the early days. It was really one of those moments where people were like, “Wait, oh shit you can you can die of this” But he was just an incredible songwriter. He has incredible melodies and chord progressions, which is a hard combination to do. Musicians are often either chord people or melody people, so to have that in one, and especially to be a chord person who also is really into making pop music, is a really special combination. Usually I find that chord people go the way of Elliott Smith but Adam was just so multi-faceted. I am grateful for him for being generous with his abilities because he could have been a pretentious musician’s musician, but instead he was like, “No, music is fun.” And Fountains of Wayne is fun and so intentionally dumb, you know, like “Stacy’s Mom”

(Sandy) Alex GHouse of Sugar

I was really late to Alex G. I totally missed the boat. Everyone is so worshipy about him. I would maybe listen to like 30 seconds of one song and I was like, I don’t get it. Then I got frustrated because I didn’t get it, you know, like one of those magic eye posters. Then I had a friend tell me to listen to “Sports Star” and pretend that it’s ambient music and for whatever reason that worked. I think just being patient with it instead of being like, “No, there’s something about it that everybody gets that you don’t.” Gabby has toured with him and is friends with him, so she played it a lot and through that I just like it more and more and can’t get enough of it. This record especially and Beach Music, which I also really like thanks to Gabby. We just went on tour with him and I cannot say enough about how sweet that band is. Like everybody in the band, the TM lighting, merch, just through and through incredible people, so nice. And so that makes me like the music even more. Alex himself is a really cool, freaky, little genius. He’s a really sweet guy and also not pretentious. He could be because he’s got this serious cult following and he’s a musician’s musician, but he’s not an asshole about it.

PretendersPretenders

I love Chrissie Hynde as a bandleader. I remember reading something about her and just thinking she’s such a badass. She’s like Tom Petty but in a time where only blond boys, like Tom Petty, could be Tom Petty. She’s an actual, literal boss and wrote incredible songs. “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Brass In Pocket,” and “Chain Gang” are all some of my top hundred songs of all time. Fleetwood Mac are having a moment of, “Oh my God, they’re so cool.” But Chrissie Hynde is witchy and she’s cool, and she should get more credit from Gen-z and she’s due for a renaissance I think.

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