From Toledo, Ohio, Terry L Harris debuts the highly anticipated 'Mood Stabilizers,' an album that doubles as an artistic diary. With a wide range of influences like Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Rick James, just to name a few, Terry L Harris immersed himself in the likes of all of this music, creating a well-rounded library for him to venture off of creatively. As a self-taught musician, playing guitar in the dark to sharpen his skills and a self-taught producer, Terry L Harris continues to master his craft and deliver sweet melodies through his vocal and instrumental pieces.
His debut project 'Mood Stabilizers,' released in the summer of 2020, has already achieved greatness with the first single, "Time After Time," debuting on Pop/Rock and Top 40 Repost Exchange charts at number 12. With a project like 'Mood Stabilizers,' he is looking to achieve something rather special with what he is trying to convey. Terry L Harris wants these records to become the soundtrack of the moments you live in and live out. With the majority of the project being instrumental, there was a purpose behind the creative process. He wants the audience to allow your thoughts to become the words of each tune and melody played out.
We start the album with "Hello it's Me," the second official single off of 'Mood Stabilizers.' The way the song unties with the deep harmonious elements Harris' lyrics display strikes our ears in the most satisfying manner. This song showcases a wide vocal scale with an empowering presence. We are treated with an instrumental break where you can hear a lightly compressed electric guitar break into warm melodies before the vocals are reinstated, and the track gradually comes to an end, preparing you for what is next.
The following song and first official single, "Time After Time," sends us down memory lane as it begins with a wistful guitar riff that strums the originally composed "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper and then breaks into a striking choir of voices singing the memorable chorus we all know and grew to love. The instrumentation composition balances the sparse vocals presented on this track, giving us plenty of time to reflect and take in the moment. The third track on 'Mood Stabilizers' is "Alarms." You can hear an ambient medley of sounds that start this slowed down, instrumental piece off before the warm; the buried electric guitar is brought forward in the mix, making every strum, pad, snap, and a key hit a unique relationship in the composition.
Picking things back up, "Rebel" is the fourth track on the album, and it instigates powerful elements that kick us into high gear. For an instrumental track being capable of this much force ensures the audience is in for a treat. You can hear the passion and drive in the playing of Harris' melodious electric guitar throughout the song, and it instantly takes you mentally to a night out on the town where this could act as your theme song.
"As I am" caters to the futuristic elements of a blissful utopia. The components of the instrumentation bring in all of the beloved features of 90's R&B displays, all while adding a modern-day flavor. The rain stick you can hear allows you to envision the legendary dancing in the rain scenes from all of your favorite R&B music videos growing up.
At the halfway mark of 'Mood Stabilizers,' we are hit with a heartfelt record that initiates the tugging of our heartstrings. "Vulnerable" follows the mood of the previous song impeccably and transports us through the progression of a melody so delicate yet so dominant at the same time. Terry L Harris displays the capability of his self-taught guitar skills in yet another manner, plucking away, creating a hollow and reverberated atmosphere.
"Tranquil" is the seventh song on this album, ensuring us that Terry L Harris can hit all musical components so flawlessly. The tune commences with a dreamy setting that maintains the airy and delicate mood throughout. When a distant pan flute is introduced at the halfway point of the song, it instantly switches the energy, almost snapping us out of our trance but then draws us into another area to remain focused on.
"Stay Lovin' Me" commences with the soft, uplifting strums of an acoustic guitar that then transfers into the light, reverberated electric guitar that Harris has been blessing us with during the album. This specific song on 'Mood Stabilizers,' progresses as a story through the instrumentation. As the second last song on the album, we find it has naturally earned its place for a strong finish.
"Let me Say," is the last song on 'Mood Stabilizers,' and it begins with the crisp, sparkling sound of wind chimes that introduce a wide range of instruments and sounds to close this chapter in a soulful method. Each element that is brought together continues to add a new essence before closing off this story and making sure all of our emotions are touched.
After listening to 'Mood Stabilizers,' we understand the direct correlation between the work of art itself and the title it has earned. This album acts as a story, growing and developing its layers as it progresses. We found as it grew, we grew with it. From the strategically placed tracklist to the variety of instruments used and showcased, you can hear Harris' musical influences shine right through his art in an original way, creating a lane of his own.
Congratulations on the release of “Mood Stabilizers.” With an artistic concept so genius, what struck your initial inspiration to get this album in the works?
Firstly, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you about this project, I really appreciate it! My initial inspiration came from recording The classic cover of Cyndi Lauper song Time after Time first. It was my first recording arranging, playing, and producing all of the parts myself and getting it right, lol! I got a great friend of mine (Kevin Gregory jr) who is an awesome recording artist in his own right, to sing on it.
How is your creative process different when fashioning something purely instrumental, verses having to write out lyrics? Do you have a preference as to which venture you like best?
When I write music I tend to hear all the parts and see visuals for it all at once. Since I don't sing, I really try to make my lead guitar parts along w the background layers all sound as if they are singing parts. I chose not to write lyrics for all but one track as I wanted the songs to be platforms the listener could embrace and out their owns words to strong melodies and hooks. Things people are going thru hopefully could be voiced and those words attached to my music. Writing instrumentals are my go-to for sure plus I can quickly record then by playing all the parts myself.
With your musical inspirations being so timeless. Who would your dream collaboration be with and why?
I would absolutely love to sit down and write a song with James Taylor. If he was too busy I would love to put lyrics together with Keith Urban for my song Stay Lovin Me. James is just a great songwriter w the velvet voice, would be an honor hearing him sing my song as we wrote it. Keith is a guitar player like me, he has a sneaky soul and a little vocal grit to go w some twang that would fit Stay Lovin Me very well!
We would love to know, what is your favorite piece of work from the album and what is the story that goes behind it?
My favorite track keeps changing as I am now dissecting the project as a collective verse one at a time. Right now, Time after Time is my favorite with Just Gotta Say a close second
After the success of “Mood Stabilizers,” what can we expect to see next from you artistically?
Currently, I am collabing on a Xmas classic remake EP. I am also doing a music documentary short with a local mental health organization where I am tracking one of their client's progress thru his life challenges including being homeless and living in his vehicle. I get to talk w him, observe and Create music around this venture to help bring awareness to mental issues and create a revenue stream for him to further help him along in his story of redemption.