Chris Barker is an Oxford, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist best known for playing in Wille J. Heasley’s backing band. Barker is also the creative mastermind behind the rising British recording project Premium Leisure. And with a handful of Premium Leisure releases under his belt, Barker has enlisted a rotating cast of Oxford’s music scene, including Gas Coombes’ and Saint Etienne’s Mike Monaghan (drums) and Palace’s and Razorlight’s Harry Deacon (bass), who contributed to the Oxford-based artist’s latest single “Ready For Forever.”
Centered around shuffling, feel-good vibes, strummed acoustic guitar, Barker’s plaintive vocals and some razor sharp, infectious hooks, “Ready For Forever” sounds as though it draws from 70s AM rock — in particular, I can’t help but think of Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie and a bit of Gerry Rafferty. “The song describes characters drifting about without any burdens or liability; asking me to give up the guilty conscience and loosen up,” Barker explains.
Directed by Lawrence Pumfrey, the recently released video for “Ready For Forever” begins with Barker waking up from a nap in his car, and stuffing a backpack with necessary provisions — a bong, some flowers and a few other things — before heading into the forest with his guitar in hand. He encounters three ballet-like dancers, who dance to his playing — and their dancing is full of a goofy yet uninhabited freedom that’s infectious.