Sara Marie Barron can bring your guard down. We can tend to block our emotions from bubbling to the surface, but the compositions and powerful performances of this Detroit-based singer/songwriter are an invitation, an assurance, that allowing even just for 4-5 minutes of vulnerability can be revitalizing. With formative influences like Carole King, Etta James and Billie Holiday, this young vocalist and songwriter is distinctly able to channel the evocative poignancy and poetry of a certain kind of soul music.
While her Detroit-area upbringing would inevitably include Motown’s iconic canon as a key influence, she was also in love with both the sweetly somber troubadours of classic folk and the strong and stylish personalities of R&B. In the middle of that mixture, Barron is creating soul music that might diverge from the classic 60’s Stax or Motown, but instead infuses all of the earnest, tender, swooning sensibilities of “So Far Away” to “Sunday Kinda Love.” Or imagine a post millennial blue-eyed soul that blends in her 10+ years of classical vocal training, thespian talents from her time in theater and the control, range, and richness of her voice from her time singing Opera.
Barron naturally finds and enlivens such warm and cinematic tones on her piano and sweetly threads her dazzling voice from a faint grey sky flicker to a full, fiery sun-ray. And then there are the melodies… While Barron’s musical DNA draws from so many esteemed luminaries of soul and folk mentioned above, she’s keen to create a composite of pop-inclined charms with the melodies she weaves with her voice.
“Does She” sounds regal enough to be performed on a stage framed with crimson curtains and boomlights, but there’s a playfulness to the refrain of an already catchy chorus that allows this to feel at home anywhere, be it your earbuds on a quiet morning’s walk or your car stereo on a neon-light-splashed drive downtown. “Wanna Know” similarly fuses a swaying rhythm akin to a pop ballad, while her voice is a flutter of intonations effusing earnest and aching sentiments in succinct couplets.
These are honest and unafraid lyrics. This is music that can heal you. You just have to be able to let those emotions out… If not in the midst of a powerful song, where else? Barron’s music lets you in and lets you let go… It’s music to heal to….