"Recent Hot Press cover star Jess Kavanagh and BARQ (pictured here at the recent Hot Press covers exhibition launch party) showed exactly why they deserved to open Longitude's gargantuan main stage with a killer set of their self-described aggro-soul. The charismatic Kavanagh's stunning voice drew quite the crowd despite the early time, kicking off singalong before the clock hit three.
"BARQ, a band I discovered the last time I took a trip to Ireland, brought the crowd right up to the stage with their “agrosoul” tunes. The lead singer/lyricist Jess Kavanagh is electric. She commands the room and teases her audience. Jess vibes to her music as much as the audience, and it is a rare treat to see her brand of enthusiastic, no-holds-barred performance. The funky arrangements of their three singles, especially “That Thing You Love,” had the crowd totally involved."
BARQ have had a fantastic debut year in 2016, playing festivals across the country, collaborating with fellow Irish artists and releasing standout singles throughout.
In November BARQ released ‘Bear’ as a free download and launched the single in The Bowery. The Irish group have now released a video for the track.
Need soul? Need new music? AMBY’s got it. We are extremely excited to premiere the second music video released by Dublin four-piece BARQ.
“Bear” is a song about loss and growing up, written by lead member Jess Kavanagh about the dreams she had during the tumultuous time of her mother’s passing, so it’s fitting that the video for this song sits somewhere between nightmare and dreamy fantasy.
BARQ collaborated on this project with artist James Sheridan and videographers Crooked Gentlemen. Sheridan interpreted the lyrics with his own cartoons, creating a dark, dreamy, psychedelic vibe for this emotional single.
"The in-yer-face appeal of songs like 'Gentle Kind of Lies' and the jarring emotion of most recent single ‘Bear’ are partly why Barq are so on the button; but above all of this, it’s their raw power that shines through. Reverberating guitars and the strength of vocalist Jess Kav add weight to their already emotive lyrics. Barq have clearly landed on their sound."
"Next to grace the stage was Dublin band Barq, who specialise in making Alt R&B music or “agro-soul” as they describe it. Barq is fronted by the bouncy and quirky Jess Kav along with Stephen McHale, Tommy Gray and Neil Dorrington and let me tell you, they played an absolute stormer. Jess has such a unique presence on stage which is highly infectious, causing many to up off their seats and dance the set away with the help of Jameson and Ginger Ale and Franciscan Well.
"Every year the GoldenPlec community of writers and photographers (50+) come together to vote on their ones to watch for the upcoming year. After pulling the votes together, we select our 'Plec Picks' for 2017. We have classical artists alongside rap, jazz, funk, grunge and anything in between. Our list strives to encompass a broad spectrum of music in order to highlight the thriving music scene that exists in Ireland."
"The sound Barq are creating is unique: a tough-as-they-come mash with elements of hip-hop, jazz, r’n’b and funk rubbing shoulders with rock and pop.
If you’re looking for an Irish act bringing a groove informed by records such as The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, To Pimp A Butterfly and New Amerykah and bands such as Hiatus Kaiyote, you’ve come to the right place."
"Gentle Kind Of Lies" in at number 29 in Nialler9's best Irish songs of 2016.
"Here are my top 50 tunes made from Irish artists in 2016. If you discover something you love, do buy a record direct or from a record shop. Go to a gig, go to many gigs, tell your friends and support the many, many Irish musicians featured here and not featured here who are making great art."
"There are a couple of stars-in-waiting on this list, and perhaps none have a voice that can soar like that of Jess Kav. She’s the frontwoman of Dublin four-piece funkers Barq. They slowly but surely built up a loyal following in 2016, releasing one of the songs of the year in the form of the layered, skyscraping ‘Bear’, and have big plans for 2017."
"Dublin’s Barq isn’t necessarily the new-kid-on-the-block band, but that doesn’t mean to say we can’t shout out from the rooftops how damned good they sound. At this venue (and what a terrific venue this is, by the way) last night, they rattled the rafters and the rooftops (quite literally) with a funk/soul vibe that highlighted not only nifty intersecting lines in rock, soul and hip-hop, but also in lead singer Jess Kav an assured vocalist of power, fury and tenderness."
"With no set agenda on Friday night, we strolled into the first pub we came across. Dublin four-piece Barq started the weekend off with buckets of energy from singer Jess Kav. They describe their music as ‘agrosoul’ – for me the music reminded me of Gossip... who also had a strong female lead in Beth Ditto."