Alexandra Riorden Rediscovers the Little Joys in Life with New Song "The Barrier"

Like a tragic dream, L.A.-based musician Alexandra Riorden breaks down her process for gaining a new appreciation with life in the newest track “The Barrier.”

Written while doing laundry on a rainy day and mourning the loss of a beloved uncle to cancer, Riorden needed to find a way to get her head out of the dark clouds. Thus, “The Barrier” was born and gives instructions on how to love life again little by little.

“[My uncle Troy] was an incredible musician and I wanted to write something to commemorate the passion he had for life and songwriting, as we never really got to share that experience when he was around—when the song came to me, it almost felt as if I was communicating with his spirit,” Riorden tells BTRtoday. “‘The Barrier’ is a vulnerable song; it’s not just about Troy, but about my own experience dealing with the highs and lows of life. It’s about finding gratitude when in the lows of depression you hit rock bottom and it’s so painful that you have no choice but to make a shift, to open your eyes and witness the beauty in the little joys of life all around—simple things that only make sense in the nuanced context of an individual’s life. Rock bottom isn’t the end, in fact, it can be a good place to be, you can only go up from there.”

The melody is sweet and catchy, with hints of indie pop and Americana—comparable to the likes of Angel Olsen or Fiona Apple. Riorden’s vocals are soothing and delicate, while also being robust and empowering. The instrumentation in “The Barrier” is fresh and well organized, getting pleasantly stuck in your head like a mantra that fills you with hope.

Be the first to listen to Alexandra Riorden’s “The Barrier” below—from the upcoming album Angel City Radio out June 25.