The Harry Harrison has been a primary creative force behind several lauded North Carolina acts including The Tills (Phuzz Records, 2010-current) and The Hound Dogs Family Band (2011-current). He also released HH Goat Imaginary Friend. He explains on the bandcamp page the album is “a bedroom pop opera psychodrama exploring death, grief, abandonment, faith, doubt, identity, illusion, reality, sanity and madness.”
That description sounds like a painful somber affair on paper. The album isn’t somber in terms melody and mood. It’s an off-kilter album with original hooks and some of the most inventive production I have heard this year.
The album starts off with “before you go”. There is an Ariel Pink vibe here in the music that has a bit of retro vibe going on and maybe mix in some Tame Impala. The vocal melodies are memorable and the performance is dynamic. There were a lot of unique ideas and the first song grabbed my attention.
Up next is “hushusbandry”. The production felt contemporary with welcome surprises and starts to display some of the ingenuity of this album. By the time I got to “dsm5” I was fully on board with this artist. The most impressive aspect to me was just the way he was able to fuse together different elements. Good luck trying to label a song like this. This is the type of song where a modern artist is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the digital domain. It doesn't feel rehashed and around every corner was a new aspect which made the music feel boundless.
“new jan brady” might be the highlight. The vocal melody is mighty catchy as his voice contorts and mutates. He attempts and pulls off multiple ways of singing all of which sound fit with the song. The lyrics are mazes of madness. There is a lot of ambiguity and that actually makes perfect sense.
The stream of conscious and anxiety ridden “obsession” is brilliant. And I don’t use the word "brilliant" lightly. The structure, aesthetics and delivery is highly original. Up next is “december 8 1995” which is perhaps the most single worthy tune although there are so many off-kilter aspects which make it a blast to listen to.
He sounds a little like or maybe a lot like Lennon on “grief”. In fact the song reminded me of The Beatles in some ways. Up next is “manic freak” which has a 70’s funk vibe. He closes with “imaginary friend” which is highly addictive. The Daft Punk robot vocal effects work very nicely here.
To put it bluntly The Harry Harrison is one of the more original artists I have heard in recent memory. Some of the talent resides in the fact that behind the highly inventive and contemporary sounding production are songs with melodies that would sound good stripped down. Highly Recommended.
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