Montréal’s Hélène Barbier urges an unnamed subject to take control of themself in “Get A Grip,” the latest single from her sophomore album, Regulus.
As a founding member of the bands Moss Lime and Phern, Barbier developed a singular strain of minimalist art-pop. Her solo work continues this uncluttered approach with nearly every instrument performed on her lonesome.
On “Get A Grip,” Barbier’s vocal melodies stick closely to her guitar, bass and drums as she hopscotches from one understated earworm to the next. Woozy synths enter and exit abruptly in the moments when she intones the song’s alliterative chorus.
“I just really wonder what is the story Trump-esque people tell to themselves,” she said about her lyrics.
The song’s video by Rafael Sommerhalder makes its meaning even more opaque with a collection of tactile objects forced together in unusual combinations.
“I wanted to create still lifes of a cruel nightmare,” he said in a statement. “Drowning, stabbing, burning, almost breaking. Circling fantasies enacted by objects. I hope that in combination with the music, the voice, the lyrics, these lifeless things will start to resonate and provoke an emotion and an odd smile despite the darkness.”