To say that information about the folk collective, Harvest Home, is scarce would be to put things very lightly. The sum total of information that I have is that they are based in the Northeast USA and that they make some unique music. It feels like it's from another decade; an amalgamation of 60's psychedelic and British folk. In the little story about the album on their Bandcamp page, there's a quote that says, "Sometimes I think the best music happens when no one is making it." I think that just about sums up their goal with this project, There Was A Little Toolshed Where He Made Us Suffer. While it contains only five songs, the shortest song is over five minutes long.
What's great about this music is that it sifts through different genres at the same time making it hard to pinpoint what you are listening to. It is a band playing organic instruments like guitar, bass and drums but they do unexpected things that a lesser band would never even think of. Take for instance the first song “Lady of The Valley” which starts with the vocalist singing along to the lead string part that is reminiscent of Norwegian Wood. It sounds great. They could have easily stopped at the two minute mark and called it a day. Instead they add some other instruments and around the 2:40 mark they briefly go into a section that sounds like a whirlwind of chaos they quickly get back on track. It doesn't sound out of place instead completely natural and exhilarating. The last four minutes are definitely worth sticking around for if you enjoy the sound of the sitar and traditional, Indian percussion.
I was excited after the first song but didn't prepare me for “Reflections In The Water”. The song begins with gorgeous distant strings they reverberate a warm hum that is comforting . It's so serene I probably would have been content listening to that for 17 minutes. The song instead decides to go through peaks and valleys that contain distorted electric guitar riffs and at other times a collection of manipulated feedback . This isnt post-rock 2013. Maybe if you went back into the 1970’s and told a rock band about post-rock was this is what they would come up with.
Things slow down a bit on the third track, "I Opened My Eyes.” I almost forgot I was listening to it until about three minutes in when the song picked up again and turned into a great classic rock tune. The track, "The Little Toolshed" starts out absolutely like something from the second British folk revival but quickly turns into a rock song and stays that way. It's a sprawling, instrumental jam session. Odd imagery fills the lyrics of the final song, "Going Going Gone!," speaking of a man that is miles tall and sings the blues. Melodically, it's the weakest song on the album. It feels lazily sung, but the instrument performances are superb.
It has to be said that this anonymous group of musicians are remarkably talented. I only wish we had more information about them. For now, the music is more than enough.
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