Interview: Harry Harris | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Edinburgh based, Welsh singer-songwriter Harry Harris has announced his new album, I Feel Drunk All The Time and shared two singles from the album (Marathon and Memphis). This latest release is a follow up to his 2015 Telegraph Folk Album of the Year, ‘Songs About Other People’ and 2017’s Andre the Giant EP and will be released on June 21st 2019.
I Feel Drunk All The Time sees Harry change direction from the Americana style storytelling of previous work to a more personal and direct style of songwriting. His songs stem from the death of his best friend, but yet still contain elements hope, love and joy. We caught up with Harry to talk more about the upcoming album release.

2015’s Songs About Other People was Telegraph Folk Album of the Year. Does that
add any pressure when writing a follow up album?
I don’t think so. That’s been a really nice thing to carry around for a few years but this very much feels like a clean slate, a new project. It’s a different side of me and my music. I think people who liked the last album will be into it, but I hope it’ll find some new folk too.

How does the upcoming album differ from previous work?
Well it’s my first release with a full band across the whole record, so there’s a quite noticeable sonic shift, but also a lot of my previous songs are quite character based – certainly all of Songs About Other People and The Andre The Giant EP, which I put out in 2017. These songs are a lot more personal, and I think a lot more direct.

What are the themes within the album?
Well, grief I think is the main one. I wrote the songs after my best friend died last year. So, I think that time of my life and that feeling of chaos and confusion and sadness and memory is very present on the record. But also, that summer was so hot. Like. Insane. And it was hard to divorce the joy people were feeling from being out in the sun, having a nice time, from the fact that it might be a consequence of our slowly killing the planet, and again, hard to divorce that more global apocalyptic from a personal feeling of your world falling apart. So all of that is in there too.

Growing up, which musicians inspired you?
I was, and remain, a massive Counting Crows fan. They were the first band I felt really belonged to me. Josh Ritter’s album The Animal Years was a really important one, all of The Hold Steady, all of Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis’ solo records – her new one I love, the first three Eels records I think are basically perfect. And then folkier singer-songwriters and indie singers like Iron & Wine, Bright Eyes, Karine Polwart, as well as the general background music that my parents and brother used to play – Dylan, Springsteen, James Taylor, Don McLean, The Band, Warren Zevon.

What can people expect from you live shows?
For this tour I’m going out solo, so the songs are stripped back to how they were when I wrote them. I’m playing from my new record, my last album Songs About Other People, and my last EP Andre the Giant, so there’s a bit of a mix. I like to throw in some stories in there, and kinda add a bit more to what the songs are about. It really depends on the vibe of the night though, sometimes it can be quite quiet and other nights get a little more raucous, but either way I’m always exhausted by the end of it.

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