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On our radar: In ‘Instant Cash for Gold’, Jill Barber sends the message that playing music has its challenges

There’s perception, and then there’s reality, the latter playing a quiet but significant role in Jill Barber’s new video for ‘Instant Cash for Gold’.

On the surface, everything seems rather idyllic, starting with a country life barn that comes with perfect hay bales, split pine siding and rows of 1940s farmhouse chairs. Best of all, this barn apparently houses a dreamy thrift store specializing in retro clocks, clown paintings hopelessly sad, pre-TV children’s toys and faded tobacco tins (pass the Ogden’s Virginia Cut plug and rolling papers!)

Barber, who is as at home with indie soft-rock and Parisian spring pop as she is with retro jazz, certainly looks serene and relaxed with her acoustic guitar and laid-back blue dress.

But there’s also a serious streak of melancholy in his delivery, which is fitting considering that “Instant Cash for Gold” blends rainy country with mellow introspective folk.

On a video backdrop, Barber offers this: “I’ve always been fascinated by second-hand items on a shelf: how the sentimental value of an item, which is entirely dependent on a person’s lived experience with it, can differ so much from its monetary value, which entirely depends on what a person is willing to pay for it. There is a sadness, but also a beauty in a ramshackle collection of things from people’s past that I find it intriguing. Self-directed and shot freehand on an iPhone at MacCool’s Re-use, in Chadsey’s barn and along the bucolic roads of Prince Edward County, Ontario, where my parents live, I wanted this video captures the warmth, desire and personal reflection expressed in my song “Instant Cash for Gold”.

As for what Barber is really saying in the melody and the clip, it comes down to perception and reality. Remember that old Dire Straits hit about how musicians – or at least half-successful ones – get their money for nothing?

For those who have never spent endless hours in a tour van, eaten hot lunch meats on a charcuterie platter in a cooler green room, or played in front of six people in Thunder Bay on a Friday night, music is the most great work in the world. Who wouldn’t love to get paid to play guitar, work around an hour a day, and generally live the endless romantic life of a nomad?

Except that at some point, especially after the novelty wears off and the responsibilities that come with adulthood set in, things get a little tougher for anyone not lucky enough to be a part of the One Percent pop music club.

Vancouver-based Barber, who now balances a career in music with the endless demands of being a wife and mother, explains where she’s at during this phase of her life with, “‘One day I was in headlining Massey Hall, and the day I was sweeping a messy room”.

Need to know more about “Instant Cash for Gold”? Let’s go : “[It’s] a reflection on the chasm that exists between the personal value that music represents for people, versus its commercial value. Unfortunately, the continued undervaluation of music forces so many of us musicians to trade everything, often in a defeated way, much like those who are willing to trade their most prized possession out of sheer desperation for money. cash in hand.

Reality does not necessarily bite, but it often makes it clear that everything, despite appearances to the contrary, is quite relative.

Video of Jill Barber – Instant Cash for Gold

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