James Barker Band: ‘Ahead Of Our Time’ – Debut EP Review

James Barker Band makes their major-label debut with their new EP, Ahead Of Our Time, out now, October 20th, on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new music below.

After years of making a name for themselves across Canada, James Barker Band is about to make their U.S. debut. In partnership with RECORDS Nashville, the quartet released their EP, Ahead Of Our Time, out now. Featuring six new tracks, five of which were co-written by Barker, the EP is the perfect way to introduce themselves to a whole new audience.

Comprised of James Barker (lead vocals/guitar), Taylor Abram (guitar/background vocals), Connor Stephen (drums), and Bobby Martin (bass), the foursome combine their Canadian roots with witty lyricism and pop-country sensibilities, as evidenced on tracks like the EP opener “Step On His Boots” and the tongue-in-cheek ode to moving on after a breakup, “Champagne.”

The EP’s title track is an immediate standout, a stirring and building ballad that swells over lyrics about a couple that met before they were ready for each other. It’s a quintessential what-could’ve-been ballad that everyone can relate to, and it offers a poignant moment of both reflection and introspection.

“Too young, too fast, too wild and free // To pay attention to the what if it was meant to be // A taste of heaven was a hell of a ride // I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t say // I Get to wonderin’ if you’re wonderin’ what could have been // If we’d have finished what we started on way back when // If we’d have met now, would it have been right // Maybe we were just ahead, ahead of our time // Ahead of our time”

Meanwhile, “Meet Your Mama” finds Barker wondering if it’s too soon to see where a special girl grew up, admitting that he knows it’s been only six months, but he’s ready to see her hometown and where she’s been all his life. Likewise, “Step On His Boots” has him ready to be Mr.-Steal-Your-Girl, musing, “I don’t see no ring weighing down your left hand.”

The album’s lone party song is the only one not co-written by Barker: “On the Water.” Featuring Dalton Dover, the lighter track finds the quartet desperate to escape the 9-5 grind in favor of some salt life in the sun. “I need a day on the water,” They sing. “‘fore I up and lose my mind.” Meanwhile, “Champagne” finds Barker moving on “with a ten in a Tennessee T-shirt” and “sippin’ whiskey like it’s champagne.”

The EP ends with “Heartbeat,” a true country ode to love at first sight, laden with slide guitars over a catchy and airy melody. It’s the epitome of “when you know, you know,” as the band proclaims an instant connection, declaring “You had me in a heartbeat.”

On Ahead Of Our Time, James Barker Band shows why they’ve become megastars in Canada and serves as a perfect introduction to new fans everywhere.

Ahead Of Our Time Tracklist:

  1. Step On His Boots (James Barker, Travis Wood, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass)
  2. Ahead of Our Time (James Barker, Jake Rose)
  3. Champagne (James Barker, Rodney Clawson, Travis Wood)
  4. Meet Your Mama (James Barker, Travis Wood, Gavin Slate, Todd Clark)
  5. On the Water ft. Dalton Dover (Jordan Minton, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)
  6. Heartbeat (James Barker, Travis Wood, Gavin Slate, Todd Clark

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Ahead of Our Time
  2. Heartbeat
  3. Meet Your Mama

James Barker Band makes major-label debut with their new EP, ‘Ahead Of Our Time.’

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Ahead Of Our Time is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.