Baylee Barrett Channels Radiohead, Red Lights and Closure on “Good Time”

Heartbreak is unavoidable, but finding closure… well, that’s a whole other process. On “Good Time,” Baylee Barrett explores some of the more illogic things people feel or do to move on.

Videos by American Songwriter

Singing through the heartache I’ll be fine just getting caught up in the little places that you hide / Washed my sheets rearranged my room, cut my hair so I feel brand new / But here you are, there was never gunna be a good time, “Good Time” follows the folk-driven motions of acceptance, understanding, and the eventual forward movement.

While Barrett was writing “Good Time,” she found it difficult to pinpoint her emotions around everything so she could put them into words.

“Sometimes the best thing is to lean into the confusion which is really where these lyrics come from,” says Barrett. “At the time, I had been really getting in to Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ album, so this song was definitely influenced by some of those tracks. The song I talk about in the first verse is from that album.”

Admitting that she needs to transform her environment to write, Barrett remembers the strewn red Christmas lights that she had put up when writing “Good Time,” an ambience that helped her enter the writing zone she needed.

“The slightest shift can put me in a different place so the red lights strangely played an important role,” she says. “When I start a new song, I usually begin by fiddling around with chords until I hit something that sounds like how I’m feeling.”

Now in her mid-20s, Barrett has already lived the beginning of a lifetime as a singer. Moving to Los Angeles from Lubbock, Texas when she was 18, Barrett started singing before she could really remember, belting out alongside her mother at church. There were also those voices of Lubbock natives like Buddy Holly, Natalie Maines, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore ringing in her ears.

Growing up in a very religious household, and sheltered from most music, Barrett found herself connecting more to melodies, rather than latching on to particular songs or artists for influential root. Introspectively, she says her upbringing also resulted in more self-deprecating songs. Being raised by her father after losing her mother to cancer when she was 15 also helped hone the lyrical element needed in Barrett’s more introspective songwriting. 

“I grew up very sheltered and very Christian, so a lot of my songs are very judgmental towards myself rather than anyone else,” shares Barrett. “It’s hard to shake morals that have been instilled in you since you came out of the womb. My younger self is convinced I’m going to hell, I think.”

Still, writing has become more of a spiritual experience for the artist. “I want to give people the opportunity to know who I am without hiding behind anything,” says Barrett.

Still working on her debut, along with producer and musician Billy Mohler (Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga) of the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, Barrett is fine-tuning her first musical chapter.

“Since this is my first one, I really want people to get a raw sense of who I am,” she says. “In a way, it’s a coming of age album. I don’t want to overdress it. Whether it’s just me and my guitar or base and drums, the live sound is there. I’ve got a great team around me, and I think we’ve done a good job of letting the songs exist as they are.”

Leave a Reply

Hatebreed Talks Perpetual Perseverance and Life as a Touring Band