Album release: "The Tall Trees" by Nick Harris
Release date: 23 February 2015
Label: Shifted Fiction Records
More information: on Nick Harris website
Having left his job and moved to New Zealand to live a frugal and solitary life, Nick Harris began dedicating almost every waking hour to homing his craft; and refining his guitar and songwriting technique, all whilst busking to pay the bills. When he emerged again and returned to London, it was evident that this had paid off when Harris released his debut album ‘Chimera’, which saw him collaborate with the likes of Emma Gatrill (Moulettes, The Mariner’s Children/Sons of Noel and Adrian) and Ted Dwane (Mumford and Sons).
Now the progressive acoustic singer-songwriter is back to release his second album ‘The Tall Trees’. His sophomore album sees a significant development of both technique and style combing beguiling and welcoming vocals with a percussive and progressive guitar style that at times nods to the likes Andy McKee, Thomas Leeb, and John Smith. The result is an album that sits somewhere between John Martyn and Iron and Wine.
The new album was recorded with London producer Nick Trepka (Speech Debelle, Kieran Leonard, Emmy the Great), and features an orchestra of instruments including accordions, horns, flute, strings and some odd percussion.
Harris says “"This album quickly became a very different animal to the first. We became obsessed with capturing the right atmosphere and finding the boundry between rich accompaniment and a sparse, intimate feel. We made a decision early on to record this entirely at night, often in long sessions lasting 14 hours or more, ending in a wonderful madness and exhaustion. I couldn't be happier with what we came out with”.
The lead track ‘Calm Your Demons’ is evidence of Harris’ progression, and captivates the sound of Harris’ transformation in the wilds of nature and his new direction by uniting charming and rustic guitar with an almost mystical wind and string accompaniment. The song builds until it coalesces in a cacophony of madness, until the guitar emerges triumphant and the song breaks back in to its percussive stride, whilst the vocals develop almost to the chant of a well versed psalm, giving them an alluring and hypnotic feel.
Recently Harris has played shows with the likes of Moulettes, Rozi Plain, Dan Croll and Courtney Barnett and touring with acts including Maia and Patch and the Giant. With each show and each release Nick Harris’ fan-base continues to grow, which has become even more evident since he became long listed for next year’s Glastonbury.
Harris dropped out of modern day living and immersed himself into the wilderness, and emerged more focused and more powerful than ever before. ‘The Tall Trees’ is a personal triumph, it’s warm and gentle yet emotionally visceral, it’s familiar yet individual and most importantly it’s not to be missed.