Arriving on October 28 via Loose Music, Old Kind of Magic is the fifth long-player from Native Harrow – Stephen Harms and Devin Tuel – and arrives two years after they left Pennsylvania for a new life in Sussex. It is in this new place that the duo self-produced a work that is simultaneously their most sweepingly expansive and delicately intimate album to date. The songs on Old Kind Of Magic move dramatically from the opening field recording of the Brighton seaside, to Laurel Canyon-esque folk-rock, piano and Rhodes-tinged soul-jazz balladry, oud and harpsichord driven 60s technicolour psychedelia, dense modernistic string quartet writing, and wide-as-the-western skies panoramic pedal steel with sepia-toned 12-string.
On the title track ‘Old Kind of Magic’ glittery Rhodes and glistening hollowbody guitar parlay with bright-eyed bass and outstretched California canyon drums, creating a sound described by the band as evoking “the golden light of 70’s FM radio, spilling across the plush wall-to-wall carpet of suburban reminiscence and recollection.”
Elsewhere, in ‘As It Goes’ Devin references the couple’s long journey to Sussex: I arrived in a new land and I said, “I’m gonna be a brand new version of me” / Take it off, change it all, I wanna see really me. “It is true,” she explains. “I arrived in a new land to make a new life and to trust my instincts and after chasing the dream realise I had it in my hands, and what now will I do with it?”
As the writing and recording of the album came to a close, the couple moved from Brighton to rural Sussex and a familiar bucolic life. They enlisted Alex Hall (their collaborator for 2019’s Happier Now and 2020’s Closeness) to add his signature drums and percussion throughout, along with an incendiary piano part on “Used To Be Free.” Joe Harvey-Whyte added his celestial pedal steel to “Heart of Love” and “I Remember” and violinist Georgina Leach layered a one-woman string section over “As It Goes” and a galvanising quartet on “Long Long Road”. Mixing was completed by Hall at Reliable Recorders in Chicago, IL and the record was mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering in London.
Native Harrow will be launching the album with an instore tour, including an acoustic performance and signing at Rough Trade West on October 28, tickets here.
Artists’ website: www.nativeharrow.com
‘Old Kind Of Magic’ – official video:
October 28 Rough Trade West, London @ 6pm
October 29 Union Music Store, Lewes @ 2pm
November 1 David’s Music, Letchworth @ 6pm
November 2 Truck Records, Oxford @ 6pm
November 3 Jumbo Records, Leeds @ 6pm
November 4 Spinning Discs, Sheffield @ 6pm
November 5 Vinyl Tap, Huddersfield @ 2pm
November 6 Jacaranda, Liverpool @ 5:30pm
November 17 Eel Pie Records, Twickenham @ 6pm
November 18 Sound Knowledge, Marlborough @ 7pm
November 19 Hundred Records, Romsey @ 2pm
November 20 Vinilo Record Store, Southampton @ 6pm
November 21 Pie & Vinyl, Southsea @ 1pm
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