Elevating Emotions: Red Barnett’s Soaring “Rise” EP

Red Barnett is a shining example of ingenuity and nuance in the thriving Reykjavik, Iceland, music scene. Red Barnett was started as a solo project by the visionary Haraldur Sveinbjornsson, who composed moving songs while he was a student in Lund, Sweden. “Shine,” his debut album, was well-received by critics and won the coveted Icelandic Music Award for Best Alternative Album in 2015. Red Barnett’s music blends eerie melodies and delicate arrangements, driven by a penchant for atmospheric, cinematic sounds and inspired by classic guitar bands.

As he enlisted the support of his closest friends and fellow artists on his musical journey, Sveinbjornsson’s vision grew. Red Barnett is a group that is coherent because to the individual talents of its members: Diddi Gudnason on percussion, Dadi Birgisson on keyboards, Hannes Fridbjarnarson on drums, Finnur Beck on bass, and Asgeir Asgeirsson on guitar. As a result of their two nominated albums, “Shine” and “Astronauts,” Red Barnett has become one of Iceland’s most captivating musical acts. Described as dramatic, grandiose, and somber, their sound transports listeners to a realm of self-reflection and deep emotional resonance.

Red Barnett released their much awaited EP, “Rise,” on February 9th, 2024. This is the band’s third release of music. This compilation of songs serves as a capstone to their creative journey and a demonstration of their development as musicians. Through her song “Rise,” Red Barnett challenges listeners to go into the depths of human feeling, face the complexity of life, and find beauty in vulnerable situations.

Rise EP Track List:

Maybe You’re On Your Own:
This is what it means for music to be introspective and sad; it is the ability to represent the suffering that someone bears and to feel your agony. Red Barnett’s song “Maybe You’re On Your Own” exemplifies this. While all I did was sit and stare at nothing, this music took in my feelings and left me bare. It felt my hurt and pain and turned it into sound. A soft touch was placed on my soul when I heard the singer’s gentle voice, and a mild and subtle melody that let wistfulness to permeate was created. The opening guitar strings felt like a haunting melody, gently enveloping me in its bittersweet embrace and stirring memories of faraway whispers and faded dreams.
At the thirty-second mark, I could feel the bass’s calming depth and the piano’s calm touch blending perfectly with the guitar’s strings to create the ideal smooth wave for the singer to ride. Not only is the instrumentation subtle yet deep, but the melody remained consistent throughout, evolving from the beginning to the end in that same special, tender way that it began. It’s safe to say that this kind of consistency could only have been achieved by Red Barnett, who has demonstrated an exceptionally high degree of musical aptitude.
Thematically, Red Barnett’s “Maybe You’re On Your Own” speaks to my sense of anxiety, isolation, and need for human connection. In my emotional appeal to someone who might be feeling alone or distant, the lines, “Maybe you’re on your own, so please pick up the phone, I worry about you all the time,” perfectly capture my sentiments. The repeated phrase “maybe you’re on your own” highlights the ambiguity and vulnerability of the circumstance, and my request that you “pick up the phone” emphasizes my need for assurance and communication. The main topic highlights my natural desire for support and the worry that comes with genuinely caring for the well-being of another person, illustrating the complexity of human relationships.

The Traveller:
You’re going to go into sound worlds and dimensions you never knew existed, so close your eyes and enjoy the heavenly melodies of “The Traveller” from Red Barnett’s EP “Rise.” Just close your eyes, like I mentioned, and picture yourself in the presence of this musical masterpiece: Heavenly piano notes swirled like liquid sunlight, filling the air with the music of otherworldly places that enchanted me and had a timeless elegance that echoed through my spirit. I felt a cool breeze come over me as the singer’s voice began to emerge, and I noticed a subtle emotional double-tracking in the vocals. The song’s intensity and emotional resonance increased dramatically, and its sound was utterly distinctive.
I was transported to worlds beyond comprehension at this moment, feeling as though I was in aural heaven, starting at the 1:15 timestamp with this gentle and calm double-tracked voice that began harmonizing a singular sound. The composition started to seem rich and dynamic at the 1:57 timestamp when I started to hear drumming that resembled percussion. And the simplicity and richness of the orchestration and instrumentation are what give this song its particular charm and appeal. It is impossible to adequately describe the great impression that the rhythm and melody’s simplicity and depth evoke due to their extraordinary level of flow and gentleness.


For everyone who enjoys significant and impassioned music, Red Barnett’s “Rise” is a must-listen. The EP takes listeners on an emotional journey of reflection and discovery thanks to its reflective lyrics and captivating settings. In a culture that seems to be becoming more and more alienated, “Rise” provides a musical haven where the richness of the human experience is acknowledged and treasured, whether you’re looking for comfort in your loneliness or yearning for connection. Allow yourself to be carried away by the somber melodies and moving lyrics as you discover the richness of the human experience via the power of music.

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