Premiere: Cillie Barnes, ‘Symmetry’



Vanessa Long calls the often-mystical, always-clever songs she makes as Cillie Barnes “gyp-hop” — sung and sung-spoken meditations that have the quality of diary entries. Her downtempo new single “Symmetry,” part of a small collection “The Friendly Witch” that she is releasing this week, feels like she’s letting you in on a secret. “I wrote ‘Symmetry’ as a sort of stream of consciousness … about this guy who I had a ‘Binder-Crush’ on for a while,” she says. “I call men like this guy ‘Binder-Crushes’ because they remind me of someone I probably would have had on my binder growing up: one-dimensional, protected by plastic, someone I could carry around and put all my stuff into for awhile, knowing full well there was no way whatsoever for us to exist as a real thing in real life.” The song was one of several she recorded at Omaha’s ARC studios with Bright Eyes members Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis, penned, she says, while imagining a “dude coming through in the hazy distance … made up of licorice and lapis lazulis and silk worms and flannels in the summer.” Fanciful to be sure, but we’d love to see the whole binder.

||| Stream: “Symmetry”

||| Live: Cillie Barnes has the Monday night residency at the Satellite in May, kicking off May 4 with Sun Drug, Draemings, the Grand Southern and a DJ set from Superhumanoids.

||| Previously: “Facework,” “Veranda,” “Brainwash”