There’s no reward in sight
Kinda fell off the tracks
But I’ve lost my mind and there’s no going back
Agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder shrouded in enigmatic fear, emerges from the depths of one’s psyche, evoking irrational trepidation and avoidance of circumstances where embarrassment, vulnerability, or peril may lurk. The disquietude enveloping such a situation often dwarfs the actual threat posed. Yet, in the shadow of the pandemic and never-ending threats of violence in the news, the apprehension of venturing into public spaces assumes a rational guise, a response forged by the spectre of an insidious menace. Confronting or merely pondering a dreaded scenario can precipitate panic attacks—often when beyond the confines of one’s sanctuary. The gnawing unease of enduring another panic attack, especially under the scrutiny of onlookers, intensifies the enigma that is agoraphobia. It is something that plagues us as a society – and the bogeyman is not, in this case, imaginary. Concurrently, however, nestling too long in the comfort and safety of the domestic womb can prove smothering, tedious, and ultimately a thief of one’s time here on earth.
Bara Hari, the brainchild of multifaceted artist Sam Franco, unveils “Agoraphobic,” a new video and single from her forthcoming full-length album, Lesser Gods. The track artistically confronts the inner and outer turmoil experienced with agoraphobia. Seamlessly melding myth and trauma, fantasy and reality, Franco meticulously crafts a murky realm to probe pain, beauty, and drama through this powerful – if intensely claustrophobic – performance.
Set in a homebound fever dream atmosphere, the song and video explores themes that deal with the claustrophobia and melancholy brought on by a ubiquitous disassociation from society as a whole by the sheer necessity for survival. The lyrics are straightforward and honest, detailing the condition and the pain associated with it; Bara Hari’s dance emulates the anguish of a Victorian invalid through the lens of a Kubrick film.
Directed and edited by Sam Franco and Ian Flux, and featuring Sam Broadwater, this DIY video was filmed at home – and showcases the complexities of this specific fear brought on by the turmoil of the world.
From the creative crucible of her Los Angeles studio, Franco orchestrates a symphony of self-expression—writing, recording, and producing her distinctive oeuvre. Imbuing her work with raw vulnerability, her pulsating productions evoke echoes of Florence + the Machine, iamamiwhoami, Marina, and Garbage. With a penchant for the theatrically classical, Franco conjures intricate costumes and elaborate set pieces for her music, summoning the visionary realm-crafting of a David Lynch-like mastermind.
Embracing an eclectic array of influences, Bara Hari traverses the diverse landscapes of dark pop, synth-pop, industrial pop, electro-pop, darkwave, and goth. The project’s moniker is a compelling fusion of two early 20th-century icons: Theda Bara and Mata Hari, both renowned for their captivating presence on stage and screen, with the latter notorious for her role in World War I espionage. This melding of personas embodies the enigmatic essence of Bara Hari’s artistic identity.
As anticipation builds for Bara Hari’s debut full-length, “Lesser Gods,” slated for a May 26th release via Re:Mission Entertainment, she has meticulously crafted a daring identity for her magnum opus and her artistic persona. Spanning 10 audaciously ambitious tracks, the album weaves narratives that oscillate between shadowy fantasies and stark realities. Eschewing the confines of a singular sonic spectrum, Bara Hari’s seamless fusion of dark pop-rock and trip-hop offers a refreshing and cohesive exploration that adeptly mirrors the emotional essence of each track’s lyrical themes.
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