For over a decade Harkness has been tirelessly working in his home studio, honing in on his songwriting and production skills. Having written hundreds of songs, the time to share his music has come, and his audience won’t be disappointed in the colorful, cascading vocal harmonies, electric guitars and a pallet of instruments as diverse as tuba and steel drums radiate over upbeat grooves.
Musically speaking he sings, plays guitar, bass, piano, and drums, and also produces everything himself. He counts Prince and Todd Rundgren, both of whom also worked this way, as major inspirations. Listening to Harkness though, it is more likely that Soft Bulletin era Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, and Jellyfish will come to mind.
Reflecting through the brilliant soundscapes Harkness provides on his debut album, “The Occasion,” we get a sense of creativity that bursts at the seams as each carefully crafted track has come to fruition from the depth of his virtuoso. Hoping that his audience experiences these songs in a way that has those recognizing miraculous things about themselves, Harkness is aiming to change the game with this collection of songs.
There’s a theatrical element that remains consistent in the entirety of “The Occasion.” Using live instruments in order to propel a life-like approach that each song carries, we commence the body of work with the title track and introductory single, “The Occasion.” Prominent horn notes cascade through layers of texture and nostalgia when it comes to creating a fortified environment that’s refreshing with transitional moments to sweeten the amalgamation of musicality. Eclectically portraying these themes in a way that has the mind lingering on certain melodies, the accords that lie in the beauty of becoming is exactly what a track like this has to offer.
Taking us into the soothing opulence of sustaining guitar riffs and a rock forward presence, the classic notes of “I.D.,” grace the speakers in a way that has us transporting ourselves through the decades. Allowing the rhythmic jive of the bassline to remain a prominent aspect of the musical foundation, the way that Harkness’ vocal delivery glides upon the foundation saturates our soul in enticing descants. “GM GM,” fits in a similar wave of what “I.D.,” offers up in terms of the effortless grace that