SCOTT HARDWARE – ” Joy “

Posted: July 19, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

In April , 2020, Toronto’s Scott Hardware will be releasing “Engel”, his second full-length album, and first on Telephone Explosion Records. It will mark the end of a three-year process of writing, recording and letting down his guard (for better or worse.)

Engel, the recently-released sophomore album from this Toronto artist is literally and figuratively seraphic. It was inspired by the 1987 film Wings of Desire, which followed angels around a pre-unified Berlin as they comforted its populace. On Engel, Hardware imagines these angels hovering over him and his loved ones, and the backdrop is piano-led art-pop, filled with graceful swells of tender vocals and off-kilter instrumentals.

His last album, 2016’s Mutate, Repeat, Infinity, was the culmination of a years-long obsession with the HIV/AIDS crisis and how it was shaped by capitalism. Hardware’s early years after coming out were shaped by the courage of people close to him who were dealing with difficult diagnoses.“Looking at these situations from a macro/societal lens must have been the only way I could process and share those years of my life and my loved ones’ lives with an audience” Hardware recalls. “From a writing and production standpoint, I was trying to re-imagine various eras of dance music and sound as urgent and vital as they would have in their heyday of the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

Within a year of moving back (to Toronto) from Berlin, Scott watched Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and was immediately filled with its inherent curiosity. The film, in short, follows angels around pre-unification Berlin as they listen to the thoughts of the mortals they are surrounded by. “I sought with this album to capture the film’s velvety feeling – in turns funny, depressing, dark and mundane – in LP form” Hardware says. “These songs imagine Wenders’ angels buzzing around my friends, my family and I. Writing from their point of view allowed me unfettered access to my own thoughts about them and myself.” In the title track, the subject is in a relationship with a mischievous angel (named Engel,) who is probing his mind against his will. “Here he comes to comfort me, but like a fly around my head I’d sooner swat him dead,” is sung over an off-the-grid deconstructed house piano. A symphony of creaking trains and industry envelops the banging piano and delicate strings on the chorus while our hero complains “He’s here with that look again, he knows what’s happening, inside,” not, it would seem, ready for this level of vulnerability.

 Engel is filled with touching, elegant art-pop that evokes the flaws and triumphs of everyday people. Plush strings and piano are perfectly suited to this brush with angels while the occasionally jarring electronic textures that adorn this LP point to the world’s beautiful yet cruel disarray. Hardware’s rich vocals are so gorgeous that they embody the noble, supernatural and biblical qualities of these winged healers.

Taken from Engel – TER055 out April 3rd on Telephone Explosion Records.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.