Kris Barras Band / New Single Hourglass Unlocks Heavier Year

The Kris Barras Band are looking to smash into 2024 with arena-sized grit. A new album, Halo Effect, is set for release on 12 April 2024 via new label Earache Records, with a UK tour kicking off in Torquay six days earlier. Today, the band have released Hourglass, the second single from the new album. 

“I’d say this is probably my favourite track on the album,” Kris Barras said. “Musically, it’s one of the most progressive tracks on the album with the time signature changes and different sections. The mid-section build-up is a special part of the album for me. The way it starts off a little creepy then builds into the big hook section, which acts almost like a second chorus. It feels almost euphoric.”

Writing for this new album had already begun when the band were on tour in early 2023. “We’re writing on the tour bus,” Kris Barras told MetalTalk in a February 2023 interview. “Josiah and I have this top lounge. We’ve set up a little recording station here, so we’ve been recording and getting some demo writing done.” 

Death Valley Paradise is their biggest album to date, hitting the Top 30 album chart. It’s heavier than the earlier music, and Kris said that people who discovered him earlier in his career have enjoyed the journey. The age range at the shows is wider now, too.

“That’s something that’s only happened since we’ve started getting heavier,” Kris said on the tour bus in 2023. “We’ve been getting the younger people come in, and it’s wicked. There are Slayer t-shirts and Shinedown, Alter Bridge, as well as BB King and Fender t-shirts. I think our tour with Black Stone Cherry helped a lot. If you look at their audience, that’s quite a wide range. You got everything from younger kids that are into heavier stuff, maybe kind of Kerrang, Metal Hammer type kids, right the way up to older rock fans that remember when they saw Led Zeppelin in 1972. I think it feels like we’re kind of hitting on the same thing on a smaller scale.”

Kris Barras - O2 Forum Kentish Town - 25 August 2023.
Kris Barras – O2 Forum Kentish Town – 25 August 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

With the new single, Hourglass, you can also feel the growth behind the topics spoken about. “Lyrically, the song is about feeling like you’re running out of time,” Kris says. “Getting stuck and feeling like time is passing you by. It’s a fairly personal song for me, as one of my only regrets in life was living my twenties like life ended at 30. I put a lot of pressure on myself to hit life goals in a certain time frame rather than just enjoying the ride. Now, with my career change, from pro-fighter to musician, I have a new lease of life and a completely different outlook on things.”

Hourglass follows the first single, Unbreakable, which Kris says was a clear frontrunner for the first single. “I feel like it shows where we are heading with the new album sound-wise whilst bridging the gap between Death Valley Paradise and Halo Effect. 

“It’s got the big riffs, hard-hitting grooves, and a chorus that you can easily sing along to. Lyrically, the song is about being kicked down, held back, and told you’re not good enough. Using that negative energy in a ‘what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger’ kinda way, you turn around and say that nothing you do will stop me. I’m Unbreakable. 

“This track has one of my favourite guitar solos on the album. I think it has a nice balance of melody and flashiness while using a variety of techniques like string skipping, legato, and alternate picking. This is a track that I can’t wait to play live. I think it’s got great energy and a riff that you can’t help but headbang to.”

Kris Barras Band - Halo Effect album cover
Kris Barras Band – Halo Effect is set for release on 12 April 2024 via new label Earache Records

Halo Effect promises to see the band embrace that heavier style. Having seen Kris play live over the years, many have witnessed the move from pub gigs to opening for Beth Hart at Hammersmith, then up to larger audiences at Download. The music has got heavier, which Kris said was a natural progression for him. “I never really wanted to be confined to just the blues genre,” he said. “I’m a massive blues fan, but never really considered myself a blues artist because there’s just a lot more to me than that. The blues stuff is just one small part of me as a musician.”

Kris Barras. Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Kris Barras. Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

With the new album and new tour, plus a headline show at the historic Chepstow Castle on 15 August 2024 (With support from Stone Broken, The Hot Damn!, and Dan Byrne) this year looks set for being a ripper. 

“This is the album that I am the most proud of in my career,” Kris says. “So much hard work has gone into Halo Effect. A lot of attention to detail and constant striving to make sure that I improve and deliver an album that is truly to the best of my ability as both a songwriter and musician.”

Tour tickets are available from here. Halo Effect is available to pre-order in several formats from Earache Records.

April

06apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | TorquayThe Foundary

12apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | SouthamptonEngine Rooms

13apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | WolverhamptonKK's Steel Mill

14apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | ManchesterAcademy

17apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | GlasgowThe Garage

18apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | NewcastleBoiler Shop

19apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | NottinghamRock City

20apr7:00 pmKris Barras Band | LondonIslington Assembly Hall

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