Barbie meets Indie: An Indie Music Review on Barbie: The Album

Indie, but make it pink

Barbie released in theaters last Friday (July 21st) and Greta Gerwig is on a mission to bring a little pink to everyone’s lives this summer, the soundtrack being no exception. The highly anticipated film came with a highly anticipated album and doesn’t disappoint. Bringing together the pop girlies, rap girlies, and indie girlies, Barbie’s soundtrack has artists interpreting the film’s themes through their own sonic worlds. 

Here are some of our indie favorites: 

“Home” – HAIM

“Home” is a velvety melody that tells the story of a girl who learns the truth and finally chooses to do what’s best for her by going on a journey back to where she feels a sense of belonging. It has the signature elements of a HAIM song: a groovy, grounding drum beat, an atmospheric bridge, and a “girl-boss”, dreamy rhythm. It’s fitting for the pink icon, and the band’s cool, confident, movement and playful piano-synth lines paint the picture of a girl, sure in her decision, to find her way back home. 

“Hey Blondie” – Dominic Fike

Dominic Fike’s take on Barbie matches the sun-soaked sonics of his latest album “Sunburn.” Fike captures the idea of a girl who’s got all eyes on her and is believed to be perfect, but questions if it’s difficult to be held to this “ideal”. While it’s not a lyrical masterpiece, it follows the film’s approach of asking deeper questions under the guise of playful and sweet production. This poppier side of Fike may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it may be Barbie’s. 

“Angel” – PinkPantheress

The third single from the Barbie: The Album, PinkPantheress collaborates with BloodPop® and Count Balder to emanate a dreamy, atmospheric, angelic Barbie pink. With her staple auto-tuned vocals over delicious bedroom-pop production, she sings about an ideal lover who mysteriously ghosts her. The most fun surprise comes in the form of a string section reminiscent of an Irish jig.  PinkPantheress stays true to her unique soundscape, while also capturing the essence of this (im)perfect pink world.

“Journey to the Real World” – Tame Impala

I don’t know if any of us had Tame Impala being on the Barbie: The Album on our 2023 bingo cards, but man does it feel right. If you’ve seen the film you know how perfectly the song matches up with Barbie’s montage of the whimsical, far-from-real-world, journey to the real world. Again, we love seeing each artist’s take on Barbie’s world. Everything about the production from the video games synths to the whirling drums to the dreamy arpeggiation screams Barbie. The nostalgic sounds are reminiscent of the days we used to play with Barbies, my only complaint is that the song’s too short.

Honorable mention: Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” is an instant campy classic. Don’t miss his heart-throbby dance number. It’s worth seeing it on the big screen.

Listen to the full album below: