This new waves post is probably the longest in gestation ever. Not because we’ve been fine-tuning it and editing it to make it absolutely perfect, but because just as we were originally going to post it the artist concerned – Ren Harvieu – suffered a broken and dislocated back in a freak accident. Because of two serious surgery episodes at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and extensive rehabilitation work, her record label's plans for the release of a single, a spot at Glastonbury and a subsequent album all had to be cancelled.
With this is mind we also put the brakes on our Ren Harvieu introduction until such a time that she was fit enough to be out there singing her songs. That time is now, as Ren has been confirmed to play the 2011 Swn Festival in Cardiff – often a reliable barometer of the great and good of new music as well as a gig in London at The Monto Rats on November 24.
So who is Ren Harvieu? The answer is she’s a 20 year old Salford lass who has a belter of a voice. She sings with a nostalgic rich vocal that sounds as if it’s been plucked from the throat of the greats; Dusty Springfield, Carole King and Joan Baez. Apparently at sixth form college, whilst studying musical theatre, she was told that she couldn’t sing. We can only assume that whoever told her this was locked up shortly after. For the word here is effortless; Harvieu sounds completely at one with her delivery and absolutely natural. Let your granny hear it and she’ll mutter something like “they don’t make them like that anymore.” Oh yes they do gran.
With the likes of Adele, Duffy (first album) and Amy Winehouse (R.I.P) all capitalising on a sound that has taken references from the past and touched people today, it’s easy whilst listening to Through The Night (streaming below), to envisage Ren Harvieu becoming the next name to follow those artists paths to commercial success. There’s a real appetite for this music. In fact there always has been.
Admittedly Through The Night is the only original song we’ve heard from Harvieu, so we could easily be proven wrong, but certainly the video of her beautifully covering Roy Orbison’s classic Crying (with the recently dropped Glasvegas who she supported earlier this year keeping her company) shows that her voice is sublime. Now we just need to hear some more songs.Through The Night by Ren Harvieu