Bonniesongs is the moniker of Bonnie Stewart. Originally from the Dublin/Wicklow area, the art-folk musician moved to Sydney to pursue a career in music.
Stewart featured on our most recent tracks of the week article for ‘Ice Cream’, a garage rock-esque take on the folk genre.
Sonically and stylistically, ‘Barbara’ immediately stands out from ‘Ice Cream’. This new single carries malice, an eerie air that unsettles the listener. More downtempo, ‘Barbara’ unwinds slowly and assuredly. A simple finger pattern on guitar and Stewart’s vocals dominate the mix in the early stages, these core elements are soon joined by disorientating vocal harmonies, room ambience and creepy string sounds.
The final synth squeals, gradually rounding themselves out, speak to a frightening climax – one foreshadowed in the refrain “They’re coming for you, Barbara”.
It should be of little surprise that the song found first inspiration from a horror film. Stewart explains that “This track was inspired by re-watching the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead at a household movie night. I love zombie movies. I noticed how the main woman’s character was a weak crumbling mess that was almost completely useless in the chaos that was happening. Meanwhile the men were pulling it together and saving everyone. This sort of inequality is typical of this era I guess, but is still annoying! Anyway the song is mostly told from Barbara’s perspective…”
On the production and sonic aesthetics behind the tune Stewart adds “I often find inspiration from watching movies and I think I wrote most of this song right after watching this! I like how the loops and noise at the end feel like you’re being surrounded and swallowed up by something. I love the cello parts in this track. Freya Schack-Arnott has a real knack for textures and creepy sounds as well as creating beautiful and sorrowful lines.”
Bonniesongs’ debut album Energetic Mind will be released on September 6th through Small Pond Records.