HONEY HARPER – ” Starmaker “

Posted: December 17, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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William Fussell has been in a number of dreampop bands over the last 10 years (Mood Rings, Promise Keeper) but really found his voice as cosmic country crooner Honey Harper. “Starmaker” has one boot in the ’70s (Glen Campbell, The Carpenters) and the other in the ’90s (Slowdive, Cocteau Twins) and with great songs, perfectly swoony production and his heartbreaking voice, it’s a magic combination for sure. Starmaker’s title track is brilliantly weepy, featuring great pedal steel and Sebastien Tellier. “Ambient, ambitious songs like ‘Something Relative’ and ‘The Day it Rained Forever’ reveal a songwriter revelling in odd turns of phrase and a singer delivering them with an eccentric, celestial twang.

“When I turned eighteen I moved out of my parents’ house the day I legally could leave. my friends and I moved into a house together, there were six of us. We moved into this place where we made music and wrote together. Eighteen year olds thinking we were more special than we were. We were writing all the time on our typewriters, thinking we were surrealists or something… But it was a super formative part of my life. We spent all our time together doing all those things. A wild bunch of kids getting into a bunch of different stuff.

It took a while before we found out that one of our friends was getting into heroin and that ended our relationship with him when I was around 20. From 18 and onwards we were quite close, our group of friends. Then we just stopped talking. The song is a little bit about finding out about him and how it made us stop talking. It’s a bit of regret in thinking it’s not really your fault for leaving. It was intuition.

It was the first thing that came into my mind when another friend called me and told me what had happened. Then there was the funeral and I couldn’t come because it was in Georgia and I was living in the UK. I wasn’t able to fly down for it. The song is about that phone call, basically, hearing my first thoughts about what emotions I had on the phone. About what he had gone through and what was happening. I won’t go into too much details on what happened to him, I think you kind of understand. I wasn’t trying to romanticize the situation, but just trying to write down what I was feeling in the best way that I could.

The idea wasn’t originally to write this as a sad song. I like a bit of contradiction and my wife and song writing partner has helped me a lot with that. When writing the song, the first bit was very optimistic with a lot of major chords and it was going to be something else. Then I found a couple of lines that I had written about how I felt about my friend so I started putting it to it. Trying to bring some light into something that’s dark, I think. The chorus slips into the darkness a bit more. I began writing the verse and by the time I had figured out what the lyrics were I had changed and gone into the chorus and entered this minor, dark place. So I wrote some of the lines down without intending it to be a song. Just therapy. When I found them it worked well in the song.

I don’t know if I got everything out on the record that I wanted to, but in my mind the point was to try and change the ideas of – and I don’t mean to make this sound more grandiose than it is – just what determines country music. I wanted the arrangement to be a bit like John Denver. I tried multiple different things with acoustic guitar, bass and synthesizers. When I started working with a string arranger I realized that this was a song that could be made so beautiful by the situation. So we turned the synth arrangements into string arrangements and wound up with the strings on the song.”  Honey Harper

Something Relative is from Honey Harper’s debut album “Starmaker” out now!

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and night, text that says 'STA ARMAKER e DEBUT ALBUM OUT MARCH 6 pre-order honeyharpermusic.com'

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