Saturday 7 January 2017

New Music: Introducing - Harlea

Yesterday the BBC Sound of 2017 process finally came to a conclusion with South London’s Ray BLK topping the list, suggesting that if the music industry pundit’s that voted have got it right 2017 is going to be an exciting year for music that takes soul and R ‘n’ B as its starting point; with the likes of Raye and Jorja Smith all finishing high in the poll. It also suggests that 2017 will be the year of South London, with 3 of the top five coming from the part of the world. 

There is of course a big argument to be had about how the Sound of list is very London-centric every year. Compare for example the number of Scottish acts that have featured on the poll over the years (only a handful, the last being Chvrches back in 2013) against London acts. Maybe the poll voters (of which I was one in 2010) need to cast their eyes and ears a little further afield? (Just for the record my three choices in the sound of poll were from Oxford, Herefordshire and Edinburgh - 2 of them made the longlist, the Scottish one didn't) 

However, whatever genres the polls suggest is are going to own 2017, I’d like propose that there’s plenty of great music in every genre. 

Certainly, today’s new act Harlea isn’t ‘on trend’ when it comes to the soul and R ‘n’ B that the BBC list hits hard on, although she does reside in London so she gets a point for that. 

Debut song Miss Me, released late last year, was a smoking, lip-curling, song of an obsessive and reckless relationship. The follow up You Don’t Get It is a hard-riffing blues piece with a bag full of pop sensibility and a bit of a groove thrown in for good measure. It’s got a unique selling point as well – it’s completely out of sync and out of fashion with everything around it at the moment – and that needs to be celebrated. Harlea’s is the sound of motorbikes, leather jackets and cigarettes. It’s a sound that grabs you by the metaphoric balls and then some. Ready?

Harlea - You Don't Get It

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