Native Harrow, Closeness Review
Native Harrow is a folk-rock duet known for its warmth and timeless nostalgia. The duet is Devin Tuel – Lead Vocals/Guitar and Stephen Harms – Bass/Drums/Keys/Guitar. Tuel is a former ballerina and classically trained singer who has become a profound lyric writer and seasoned performer. The duet’s last album, Happier Now, was nine songs filled with Tuel’s warm, enveloping vocals and the supportive, thoughtful accompaniment of Harms’ musicianship. Now the duet has returned with a new album that explores new sounds and styles called, Closeness.Bottom Line: Closeness is the fourth album from Pennsylvania’s Native Harrow; the ten songs expound on the duo’s dazzling warmth and enduring wistfulness to include new sounds influenced by jazz and funk. The duet also expanded the instruments used in the recording. “I dug myself out from the well to make Closeness, a record about love,” admits Tuel. “When I sat down to begin what would become Closeness, I felt that above all, I wanted to make it clear that, while the clock is moving, we can hold onto one another, and maybe there will be tears, but there will also be laughter.” Closeness’ songs were recorded in two sessions, one in December of 2019, and the second was the first three days of January 2020. Composed of takes that captured Tuel’s master vocals live in the room, guitar in hand, with Harms on bass and Hall on drums, the record expands upon this organic base with an array of orchestral flourishes and vintage keyboards that give the proceedings a classic sheen. The first single, “Shake,” instantly shows the expanded sound of Native Harrow with fuzz guitars and drums, subtle strings (of the real, mellotron, and chamberlain varieties) and harpsichord. “Shake when I’m feelin’ lonely, shake when my heart’s all over the place,” articulates the conflict of anxiety. “Being on tour helps, because being away from yourself helps,” Native Harrow’s singer and songwriter Tuel declares. “Smoke Burns” has a steady brush drum pattern with Tuel’s sweet vocals leading the way with haunting guitar swells for added drama. Influences of ’60’s art pop can be heard on the expansive “Sun Queen.” The song also has added strings and layers in piano and electric guitar. “Turn Turn” is a relaxed six-eight song that is reflective and has a new color for Native Harrow. Harms’ guitar and bass work are incredibly grounded on this one. Tuel’s move to her upper-register brings the song to a climax. Overall, Closeness is a fantastic journey in folk-rock with a rich flow in styles, instrument sounds, solid playing, and Tuel’s unique voice. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Native Harrow: Website |
The Dying of Ages
Same Every Time
If I Could
Release Date: June 30, 2020