Jared Barkan
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Jared Barkan

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"Jared Barkan's View is Fine (NBC News)"

Born and raised in NYC, Jared Barkan started playing gigs in NYC clubs at age 15.
While playing around the city, Jared studied classical guitar with Brazilian guitar virtuoso Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and Jazz with pianist Gary Dial, developing a unique mastery of the guitar. He played sessions with jazz legend Ornette Coleman, then spent several years as a sideman for various artists, including La India (Sony Latin), Connie Petruk (David Bowie), Joe Gallant (Grateful Dead), Andrew Williams (Wynton Marsalis).

Now on his own with just an acoustic guitar Jared Barkan has taken all that experience and put it to good use. On his debut EP, View Is Fine Barkan strums and picks his way through seven soulfully moody and brilliant songs. Sounding at times like Elliott Smith or even Jason Molina at their best, Jared Barkan’s sparse introspective tones borderline on being a little too moody, chilling, and haunting for comfort. This isn’t necessarily bad because Jared’s songs are so touching that they penetrate ones emotions and linger forever.

View Is Fine is a beautifully played isolated record that while exceptionally quiet never gets bogged down in the clichés that hinder so many acoustic records. Jared’s experience and overwhelming ability to write sensitive songs elevate View Is Fine to another level.

Whether it’s the minimal, "I Look Up," or the nearly poppy, "Throw It All Away," View Is Fine never fails to make an impact. View Is Fine only hints at Jared Barkan’s experience, talent, and his ability to craft exceptional songs with barely anything.
- Paul Zimmerman

"View is Fine(Indie Music.com)"

With a heavy guitar stroke and ample technical ability, Jared Barkan twists through the narrow passageways of songwriting and finds a niche for himself in his EP View Is Fine. Dark and soulful at times, sunny and picking guitar with the best of them at others, Barkan appears confident to the point of cockiness in his own potential.

His voice, which puts no restraints on its display of heartbreak, soars and dips with velvety undertones, although overstatement doesn’t seem to be his thing. The subtlety in both vocal performance as well as instrumental presentation is remarkable for a debut EP. All acoustic, with delicate harmonies that would rival true vocals, View Is Fine emerges as a tremendous beginning step for the talented young guitarist.

Check him out for his amazing guitar talents, check him out for his lovely hypnotic voice, check him out for the lyrics and let him (and me) know what you think.
- Genevieve Will

"Jared Barkan (Smother Magazine)"

Armed with a tender voice, Jared Barkan promises that he won’t fit in with all the singer/songwriters that pepper the New York City scene. The production on this debut EP is pretty interesting with its sparse instrumentation but magnetically charged vocals that fill space throughout the seven songs. His talents both in the vocal department and guitar play aren’t going to be easily challenged by many other artists. If you get a chance, go check him out and pick up this EP. - J-Sin

"Darkblue (EarCandy Magazine)"

The first song, "All I Know" grabs your attention just like a good opener should and the song sounds like a modern interpretation of Cat Stevens, but with better vocals! When I compare him to Cat Stevens, it is not a put-down - Jared's songs just take those unique twists that are Cat's trademark. And when I talk about the vocals, they are astounding, drawing you into the songwriter's realm. The backing vocals are the icing on the cake - perfectly complementary. But not all is acoustic-led, as the third track "Here We Go" adds distorted guitar to the mix along. "Darkstar" adds psychedelia to the acoustic mix with tantalizing effect. While some of the songs present what I would call a "dark tone", it’s not the kind to make you want to slit your wrists! This is just the right amount of gravitas that I like to see artists have - bending the expected to present something both unique and entertaining. If there is a new direction for the folk/acoustic-based genre, then Jared Barkan has found it! - Scott H. Platt- EarCandy Magazine

"Darkblue (Indie-Music.com)"

On his second EP, Darkblue, New York born-and-raised, currently California-based singer-songwriter Jared Barkan once again shows off his gorgeous guitar playing and vocals. Citing a variety of influences, from Elliott Smith to Steely Dan, the melodic beauty of his tunes belies the sombre and pensive qualities of his subject matter.

Not only are his vocals incredibly reminiscent of Smith, but the melancholic beauty of his songwriting is as well. This can especially be heard on his second, and title track, an acoustic number. His chorus blends these elements of Smith with the laidback tunefulness of '60s folk-rock, such as Simon and Garfunkel and the Mamas and the Papas.

Barkan goes electric on the third song, "Here We Go." Again, a strong Smith influence can be heard. This is an influence that can be heard throughout the EP.

The fourth song, "Darkstar," is much poppier, with his vocals taking on an almost emo appeal, though not as annoyingly whiny. Once again, the listener can hear the influence of '60s pop as well as modern day indie pop. The next track, "If It's Not Love," has a decidedly late Beatles feel. The chorus vocals also have a soulful quality, and features a harmonizing chorus and sparse guitar playing to place emphasis on the vocals.

The sixth track kicks everything up a notch. Not only does Barkan bring in drums, making this track much less mellow than the rest of the EP, but he brings in his buddy Duff to back him up on guitar and vocals. This song is much more fleshed out than the rest. But every song makes you wish he'd put out an LP soon.
- Tiffany Razzano -Indie-Music.com

"Darkblue (Smother Magazine)"

New York City singer/songwriter Jared Barkan can boast of his tremendous voice. But I guarantee he won’t. His talents have grown infinitely since I last heard him. As he continues to build his case as one of the New York area’s best singer/songwriters, Jared Barkan will draw you in very close with his emotional outpouring and blissful guitar. This is the guy you see at a random coffeehouse or pub and simply must go up and start a conversation with—and he’s the type of guy that’ll listen.
- Smother Magazine


View Is Fine (2004)
Darkblue (2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Born and raised in NYC, Jared Barkan started playing gigs in NY clubs at age 15. When he wasn't playing sessions with jazz legend Ornette Coleman, or acting as a sideman for artists such as La India (Sony Latin), Connie Petruk (David Bowie), Joe Gallant (Grateful Dead) and Andrew Williams (Wynton Marsalis), Jared was studying classical guitar with Brazilian guitar virtuoso Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and jazz theory with pianist Gary Dial. From the unique style and mastery of the guitar that he developed coupled with influences from his rock favorites like Steely Dan and The Beatles, he emerged a beautiful and sophisticated songwriter. And in 2004, Jared recorded and released his debut EP View is Fine to rave reviews.

Since moving to Southern California in late 2004, Jared has become a stand-out performer on the singer/songwriter scene. He recently mesmerized crowds at the San Diego Indie Music Fest, was chosen as a finalist in Performer.com's "The Best Entertainment" competition in the Rock/Alternative Performance category, and has performed live on KPFK radio and at intimate venues in featured spots in and around Los Angeles.
His songs entertain and enchant. His voice invites and provokes. His guitar playing enthralls and inspires. His music is not to be missed.

In December of 2005, Jared released his sophomore effort Darkblue, which has already received very high praise, with reviewers comparing him to people like Cat Stevens, Elliott Smith, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.
He is currently touring the west coast, from San Diego to Seattle, and working on tunes, and plotting new musical directions for his local (LA) shows and his as-yet-untitled next EP.