subota, 20. travnja 2013.

Heidi Harris - Cut the Line (2013)

Neofolk weirdpop.


"The most piercing element of Cut the Line is its use of repetition. As the title indicates, Harris’s fourth full length presents the process of separation. This presentation is deliberately calculated and refined: Harris’s goal while writing was to “create songs that covered as many different perspectives as [she] could imagine.” Whether it is lyrically, such as the playful vocals in “Oh My,” or instrumental, such as the dynamic riff in “Maple,” perspective is accomplished through repetition. In both cases, the consistent repetition and intentionally subtle variations lend an encompassing ambience to beautifully unembellished tracks. 
Harris intended to build on the loose “in the moment” style of recording she had done in the past with this release. There are certainly still moments of lively and disorienting experimentation, but the music never seems out of reach. “Carved In” contains a very pop influenced vocal melody that eventually gives way to a free flowing, liberated harp section – an instrument in which Harris experimented with here for the first time. Overall, Cut the Line is grounded in amicably layered vocals and very fitting minimalistic production. Harris also called on a variety of artists to fill out the album, including Teletextile and Inner Ocean’s own Cory Zaradur, Porya Hatami, Sima Kim and Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián. Cut the Line is an accomplished and thoroughly structured album that still manages to capture the energizing feel of a relaxed impromptu performance."

Heidi is a self taught musician focusing on a variety of styles. Her creative practice is based on her understanding of, and intimacy with, traditional and non-traditional sound sources. She plays clarinet, harmonica, portuguese guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, piano, melodica, synthesizer, electric cello, theremin, various percussions, and other instruments - electronic and acoustic. She attended the Institute of Audio Research in NY. focusing on the process of recording and producing and went on to record several self released albums.

Her new album “Cut The Line” comes out on Inner Ocean mid-May, you can pre-order the limited edition 12” Vinyl here.


In the Lee (2011) streaming


We've got some more of those outrageously limited CDs in from the ever-productive Reverb Worship this week, and this one I've got here is an album of experimental minimal pop by New York songstress Heidi Harris. It's very much a song-based record but with a bit of an experimental lo-fi approach. Very well recorded, though, no muddy tones or layers of hiss, but it's got an intimate bedroom recording feel to it. I'm instantly reminded of Julia Holter by the ghostly layering of vocals and brittle, minimal accompaniment, largely on piano but also on guitar, glockenspiel, clarinet and various other instruments over the course of the record. Tori Amos and Joanna Newsom at their more understated are certainly valid reference points in the more song-based parts, but then there are other segments with woodwind and tinkles and barely-there weirdness that offers a slightly jarring and sinister edge to proceedings without heading into uncomfortable listening territory. It's got that Ela Orleansy hesitant wistfulness to it but with a cleaner and less layered aesthetic. Just unhurried loveliness, basically. It's totally intimate and otherworldly and it's really won me over. Gorgeous packaging too. Wouldn't surprise me if we hear a lot more from this lady in the future. Get 'em while they're here. - Norman Records

Storm Story by Heidi Harris

Storm Story (2012)

We’ve had a couple of CDs in from this lady already which Brian and Mike were rather taken by so I’m quite curious to check this out and happily it looks like it’s my turn to review her so that’s two birds with one robot. It’s one of those really limited CDrs that Old Man Linney at Reverb Worship sends us and I can immediately hear what all the fuss was about.
Harris weaves looped compositions with spare percussion, sultry gospel-soul inflected vocals and sure-footed spidery melodies and delicate flourishes on guitar, piano, clarinet, melodica, violin and more, often harmonising with herself in layers of swelling vocals, all carving out desolate, nimbly intangible soundscapes which sometimes recall Josh T Pearson’s loose-picked invocations mixed with the near-ambient ghostpop moments of the first Julia Holter LP. ‘The Good Bone Diggers reprise’ has a slightly in-the-red vocal take that sounds almost like Tori Amos along with some aggressively slow picked guitar and ghostly background weirdness. There’s an almost show-tune-esque piano ballad called ‘To Haunt You’ which was apparently written by Pierre Laplace(?!), who also plays piano, but then that’s immediately tempered with the weird dubbed-out ambient experimentalism of ‘You On Stage’.
As we go through the album the aesthetic is clearly laid out - sensuous torch songs with ethereal vocals over knowingly playful backdrops which straddle the line between order and chaos, plans and accidents, gently teasing subtle polyrhythms and seductive melodies from sparse, folksy instrumentation and plenty of string squeak and fret buzz, like an earthier Ela Orleans. Heidi Harris is clearly a massive talent and fans of ethereal experimental pop would be well advised to get their hands on one of these while they still can. - Norman Records

Works In Progress cover art
  • Feb 2013
  • Dream Fodder cover art
    Dec 2012

    Brooklynite Heidi Harris is back with another CD of her haunted minimal neofolk/weirdpop stylings on Reverb Worship - her fourth in the less than nine months! Some women can’t even make a baby in that time! Phil thinks it’s fuller and more produced-sounding than her first three, too. I’m not so sure about that but maybe he’s right.
    To me it seems like business as usual for Harris, sultry layered vocals over spacious lo-fi melodies on piano, cello and all manner of noisemakers, all contributing to a slow, ethereal pop style which is quite seductive and silky, but also with enough weirdness to keep it from getting too bland - in fact towards the end there’s quite a bit of messing around with strange otherworldly loops which is a bit of a departure.
    It does feel a little hit-and-miss compared to previous outings but I’m honestly not sure if that’s because four albums into the year I’m simply starting to weary of her style or if the earlier ones were just more consistent. That said if you’ve heard her previous CDs I think you’ll have a very good idea of what to expect on this one, and there’s plenty more of that organic-sounding minimal prettiness on this latest disc here.
     - Norman Recordss
    Circe cover art
  • Aug 2012
  • 2 Songs cover art
    Jun 2012
  • All Fall Down cover art
    Feb 2012
  • Mr. Fox Trots EP cover art
  • Apr 2011
  • sand in the line cover art
    Feb 2011
  • Weathered Wanda EP cover art
    Nov 2010



Musician, songwriter and producer Heidi Harris came up a couple of weeks ago with her new album ” In The Lee “. For me one of the first masterpieces in 2012. In the tradtion of Kate Bush, Suzan Vega .. Go and buy it. KALTBLUT had a little chat wit Miss Heidi Harris.
KALTBLUT: I spend the last day listining to your album: In The Lee ! And i have to say: I LOVE IT! It is so beautyful, quiet and touching. tell us something about it. Did you wrote the songs by yourself? How long did you worked on it? 
Heidi: First of all, thank you! I’m so happy to know you enjoy it. I wrote, recorded and performed all songs myself for this album. I have worked with fantastic musicians in the past and I’ve recorded wonderful collaborations for other albums I’ve done but I wanted to create something completely on my own for “In the Lee”. This album took me about 6 months in total to complete.
KALTBLUT: My favourite track is: Quietly. Which song is your favourite? Or do you like them all?
Heidi: Aw, thank you. I think Quietly is my favorite song too!… funny thing about that song is that I almost left it off the album… it’s a very personal song to me and I was worried that I hadn’t recorded it properly… I had it up on soundcloud to test it out but then I set it to private so no-one could hear it and took it off the album at the last minute!… but the day I released my album… somehow “Quietly” became public again on soundcloud, I have no idea how this happened!… and people were leaving comments and enjoying it. I took this as a sign to put it back onto the album and now when I listen to it, I’m happy I kept it within the collection… it really is an important part of “In the Lee” for me and at this point I think the album would not seem complete without it.
KALTBLUT: You and your music are new to me. So tell me: Who is Heidi Harris? Since when do you do music?
Heidi: I’ve been writing and playing music as long as I can remember (since at least the age of 7)… I started out on the piano and clarinet but now I enjoy playing many different instruments… I sort of can’t get enough of trying out a new instrument. I’m not a traditional artist and that sometimes makes things a little harder for me but lately I think I’ve really been finding my own voice and people seem to enjoy what I put out! I enjoy creating visual works too and I almost always create a video for every song I’ve worked on. I like to use old found footage and collage it together for my songs, or I’ll film myself or just the scenery around me. My videos can be found here:  I went to audio school in NY a bit ago (The Institute of Audio Research) I did this so that I would be able to do recordings myself and not have to rely on a studio or a producer to create what I had in mind… altho someday I’d like to find a producer who understands my sound and perhaps record a “studio” album with the help of other professionals in the music industry.
KALTBLUT: Are there any artist in the world , you would say: they are my heros? And if so, who and why?
Heidi: Oh yes! I have a lot of musical “heros”, for sure! I will start with my very first major influences which would be Bjork, Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Ani Difranco. After those artists, I became fascinated with more avant garde works such as John Cage, Margaret Leng Tan, Arthur Russel, Robert Wyatt and Luc Ferri. I’ve very recently been influenced and inspired by artists such as Darius Greene, Soley, Tune~Yards, Josephine Foster, Peggy Sue, Plinth, Orion Rigel Domisse and many others… all of these artists inspire me in many different ways and it would be very difficult for me to explain just how they inspire me but put simply, the music created by these musicians is a comfort to me… as if the music they write is a way to listen to natures voice and also to hear the magic around us speak! The work they create means the world to me.

KALTBLUT: 2012 just started. What are your dreams and plans for 2012?
Heidi: Well, I dream of getting a little better at my newest instrument, the electric cello! I also dream of perhaps getting signed to a label and finding a way to create a studio album with a producer and perhaps some studio musicians to play some extra bells and whistles, to spice it up and create a very big album! I dream of touring over seas too (I’ve only been as far as Canada so I’d like to travel and what better reason to travel then to play music!)… I also dream of becoming a better tap dancer!
KALTBLUT: Thank you very much for your little masterpiece of music!!!!!  Have a good new year! Marcel
Heid: A HAPPY New Year to KALTBLUT and to you, Marcel!! ~Heidi

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