HARKIN – ” Harkin “

Posted: April 25, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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After years in the background, songwriter Harkin surely earned her place in the limelight after being a touring member for such profound artists like Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. Harkin has been around for a few years now and is a well respected figure in the scene so this self-titled debut album was overdue on many levels one might say. Featuring contributions from Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Wye Oak & Bon Iver member Jenn Wasner the album was completed over 16 days dotted between the artist’s gruelling tour schedule so there is a sense of urgency in it that adds additional drive to the record. And that’s also how this albums feels like – a smooth and playful independent rock quickie but without lacking of profound depth. A wild spirit can’t be tamed anyway and Harkin delivers a fitting record for that purpose. Her debut was mostly written on the road, in a cottage in the Peak District (he UK’s oldest national park) and in Upstate New York and there’s a restlessness in the sound of these ten tracks really captured that vibe.

Mist Of Glass and Nothing The Night Can’t Change start the record with uplifting energy while the dazzling Decade shows a sensual longing that changes the tempo a bit before Up To Speed does exactly what the title implies. “Many of these songs grew from the tension between opposites,” Harkin explains the notion of the album, furthermore specifying these tensions by adding they are “between the wilderness and the city, between self-examination and communal ecstatic, night and day, love and shame.” This record is a testament of this fast-paced pre-Corona times it was recorded in. However, within its speed Harkin also seeks for calmness, resulting in a hypnotic mantra Dial It In and more hazy moments like New France.

The songs aren’t perfect and they surely aren’t revolutionary but that’s their biggest plus. In the closing track Charm And Tedium it’s only Harkin‘s vocals and her electric guitar that you hear, ending this record with the same raw approach it started with. This is the pure testament of a skilled songwriter and might be one of the most experienced debuts you can enjoy right now.

Hand Mirror Records 
Released on: 2020-02-10

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