Now nothing is sacred
We’re fighting all the time
Victims of our own hand not a power that’s divine
“Lesser Gods,” the audacious artistic work from the prodigious mind of dynamic artist Sam Franco, has made its grand arrival under the banner of Re:Mission Entertainment. This album is a daring assertion of her artistic persona Bara Hari and a testament to her painstaking work. The result? Ten boldly ambitious songs, each a journey in itself, masterfully oscillating between the realms of surreal fantasy and raw reality.
Bara Hari eschews conventional boundaries in a triumph of genre defiance, melding dark pop-rock and trip-hop with her unique sophistication. Armed with a kaleidoscopic array of influences, Bara Hari effortlessly threads through the diverse territories of dark pop, synth-pop, industrial pop, electro-pop, darkwave, and goth. Her expansive scope is a striking testament to her uncanny ability to absorb and synthesize myriad musical textures and hues.
Adopting a stage name that is an ingenious confluence of two early 20th-century trailblazers, Theda Bara and Mata Hari, the artist pays homage to these women, both celebrated for their electrifying presence in the performing arts. The latter, Mata Hari, bore the additional intrigue of her alleged role as a World War I spy.
Each track flawlessly complements its lyrical themes, providing a cohesive exploration that reflects the emotional depths at the heart of her compositions. Indeed, “Lesser Gods” is no less than an emblem of Bara Hari’s daring identity and the pinnacle of her creative output so far.
Within her Los Angeles-based creative sanctum, Franco weaves an exquisite multifaceted cavalcade of outlets for her self-expression—writing, recording, and producing her singular body of work. Infusing her creations with unadulterated vulnerability, her passionate productions call to mind the likes of Florence + the Machine, Sinéad O’Connor, iamamiwhoami, Marina, and Garbage. A devotee of the grandiose and the classical, Franco creates elaborate costumes and intricate set pieces into the fabric of her music, echoing the visionary world-building prowess of creative titans akin to David Lynch. Her music is not just heard but experienced, her studio not just a space, but a portal to her immersive, audacious universe.
The album opens with the lyrically profound track Siren Song, exploring the consequences of idolizing unworthy entities, with celestial beings issuing cautionary messages. The song ponders human transformation of serpents into gods, resulting in a world torn asunder, leaving us questioning the direction of humanity as the possibility of salvation diminishes. Tempest stands as a potent manifesto for asserting personal power and retracting energy squandered on those undeserving. It offers a stirring, auditory call-to-arms, encouraging listeners to harness their inner might. When shadows of melancholy descend, let this track echo around you – a potent reminder of the innate strength that lies within, ready to be stirred into action.
Immoral Tales is a raucous dive into personal struggles, while asserting her autonomy and desire for respect. Challenging societal judgments, she emphasizes her self-acceptance and a refusal to conform. The refrain conveys her yearning for peace and resolution, critiquing those who manipulate and play games in relationships, and asserting her decision to distance herself from such toxicity. Violence Rising offers a narrative of capitulation and acquiescence…specifically, the surrender of one’s own ego. It captures the internal turmoil of grappling with the inherent bias within ourselves, embodying the uncomfortable truth of our subjective righteousness.
Looking For Oblivion channels a Luscious Jackson vibe with its hypnotic chorus and electronic noodling. The lyrics convey a compelling exploration of intense and conflicting emotions, where the allure of an irresistible attraction battles with her instinct to protect herself. The turbulent cycle of vulnerability, desire, and regret ensues when defenses are lowered, only to be overwhelmed by the powerful and uncontrollable pull of passion. House of the Devil examines what transpires when we neglect the spiritual nurturing of our inner selves. What unfolds when the relentless ebb and flow of everyday trials becomes too overwhelming, luring us towards shadowy trajectories? How do these experiences transform us, and what actions do they provoke? This track issues a forewarning about the fallout from failing to confront and heal one’s personal demons, ultimately demonizing others in the process. It is an artistic exploration of human fallibility and the often tragic, destructive consequences that ensue from neglecting our inner turmoil.
Agoraphobic serves as a poignant artistic exploration of the internal and external struggles associated with agoraphobia. Effortlessly intertwining elements of myth and personal trauma, dream and stark reality, Franco carefully sculpts a shadowy world wherein pain, beauty, and drama are analyzed through a performance that is simultaneously potent and strikingly constricted. This piece goes beyond mere music, encapsulating the discomforting, yet profound experience of confronting one’s deepest fears in the face of overwhelming anxiety.
The standout track is Delusions of Grandeur. Bara Hari explores the dilemmas of life’s uncertainties, personal struggles, and the impact of decisions through the lens of perceived outsider status, and the desire to achieve grandeur despite emotional turbulence. The repeated phrase “It could be worse, It could be better” captures the perpetual state of ambiguity and struggle. The chorus offers a bitter reflection on unfulfilled potential and the contrast between lofty ambitions and the crippling self-doubt that often accompanies them. This resonates as a poignant critique of the expectations and pressures that come with the pursuit of success.
The theme continues with Easy Target, which encapsulates a tale of trust and betrayal. She narrates the experience of someone entrapped in the web of another’s manipulation, blinded to their true intentions. The recurring chorus delves into the repercussions of such actions, predicting a karmic backlash. The lyrics ‘Lesser gods betray so easily’ express a lament over the fickleness and unreliability of those perceived as more powerful or superior, alluding to a poignant reflection on human nature and its inherent fallibility. The closing track, Immortal, skewers society’s obsession with youth, beauty, and the fear of insignificance. The lyrics express a struggle against the inevitable – aging and mortality – while challenging the concept of chasing eternal life. She further delves into societal pressures and the extraction of self-esteem by those who feed on others’ insecurities. The desire for eternal life reflects the pervasive human longing for immortality, albeit, she emphasizes, at a great personal cost.
Listen to Lesser Gods below, and Order Here
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