Steph Barrak (they/them/theirs) is a queer independent singer/songwriter based out of Boston, MA. Their songs are melodically and lyrically driven, often incorporating elements of folk, country, and pop.
Barrak’s most recent release, Never Again (Feb 2017), is an evolution of the songwriter we heard in 2013 on her debut album, Words To Break Your Heart (Feb 2013). Straying from their acoustic comfort zone, Barrak further navigates instruments like electric guitar and synth, all while showing us a more mature, commanding, and focused songwriter. On Never Again, Barrak seeks to genuinely connect with the listener, and does so through intimate vocal delivery, journal-esque lyricism, and controlled balance between musical restraint and inhibition.
Never Again draws from a wide range of inspiration, including Jenny Lewis, Weezer, Queen, and even sounds of Motown soul. Produced and mixed by friend and musical partner, Mike Davidson (of Plaid Dog Recording), Never Again is rounded out by New England musical heavyweights Steve Scully (Melissa Ferrick) on drums and Annie Hoffman (Weakened Friends) on bass. Lance Riley also contributed textural and ambient guitar to most of the songs.
No stranger to the live stage, Barrak began performing at Boston-area open mics in 2006 and very quickly started headlining shows of their own. Since then, Barrak has performed at several notable venues (The Middle East, The Knitting Factory) and colleges (Wellesley College, Clark University, Boston University), and has shared the stage with acts like Jenny Owen Youngs and San Cisco. Barrak’s previous releases have garnered attention and acclaim from local press, including coverage from Performer Magazine, The Noise Magazine, and Allston Pudding.
Photo credit: Daniella Rascon