Shana Barry's debut album is a quiet, sparse affair. Comprised mostly of a lone acoustic guitar and Barry's hushed, long-distance-telephone-call vocals, "A Pink Whale and a Very Tall Tree" soothes as it intrigues.
In a world where a yellow dude from the sun is a kiddie rock star and children's books tell of meatballs falling from the sky, nothing should really be considered "odd" anymore but Barry's lyrics are often too distant to find comfort in. Hers is a cryptic world that, frankly, seems more suited for literary or visual form - at least as a companion to the music. The 8 tracks here do not flow like traditional songs, in fact many of the non-rhyming lyrics make me think that she has just now put gentle music to her already existing text. I cannot shake the fact that if I was reading a "A Pink Whale and a Very Tall Tree" book while listening, the experience would be enhanced greatly. A hook or two wouldn't hurt either.
That is not to say that I don't find the music appealing. "A Pink Whale and a Very Tall Tree" is a dreamy concoction of Iron & Wine and Maurice Sendak. It's a stark, out-in-left-field record that would fit in nicely with a rainy Saturday night under the bed sheets with flashlights.
Shana Barry is a talented individual and the kiddie music world would be wise to keep it's eyes and ears on her as she continues to advance as a children's recording artist. Here's to hoping that she finds a way to tell her stories of Fofers, cloudlands and misunderstood whales in more than one medium (much like the video attached below), thus giving full life the undeniably interesting visuals that must exist in her creative mind.
Sample the songs and buy the music.