A few months ago I wrote about the first single off Never Again, the new EP from singer/songwriter Steph Barrak. It feels like forever ago, but the EP is finally out and you can stream it on Spotify or buy it on iTunes and Bandcamp. This is Steph’s first release in quite a while, and I’m very pleased with the results after the long hiatus.
Never Again is a much slicker production than her Valentine’s treatise Words To Break Your Heart back in February of 2013. This release is much shorter, but hits the same themes of love and loss and dealing with the rough times and coming out stronger on the other side.
Lyrically and musically Never Again finds Barrak hitting some of the potential that made Words such an interesting record. There’s a lot to be said about our own self-destructive ways, and she lays it out on “Bad Habits.” One of my favorite sections of the EP is the bridge that includes this stanza:
Try as I might my heart just will not listen
To my brain when it says to quit all this feeling
Did I lose control, drive this straight off the freeway
Or do we subconsciously mean to destroy things
I’m a big fan of the ambitious zeal that drives this record. It’s been a while and I’m sure a lot has changed for Barrak over the last few years, but Never Again is a huge leap with big guitar hooks and harmonies that didn’t exist on Words. I’m hoping this is just the beginning and we’ll get many more records from Steph Barrak (and hopefully not all 3 or 4 years apart).