Saturday, December 30, 2017

CD Review: Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (Harding Street Assembly Lab)

The first music I ever listened to from Harding Street Assembly Lab was Steve Scott, so I didn't really know what to expect going into this CD by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon.    My mind was really open as I felt like it could sound like almost anything because I certainly didn't think it would sound like Steve Scott.    Throughout these four songs, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon masters a sound that I have placed somewhere between the blues and jazz.     On the surface, when I first pressed play, I thought this also sounded like Jamiroquai, which gives it that futuristic type of vibe.

Though there are guitars, soulful singing, cymbals and even a piano at times, on one level this reminds me of something you might hear playing in a coffee house.   I'm not sure what "coffee house" sounds like exactly because I've never really been into the artists who fall into that genre (And I do believe it is a genre) but I could easily picture someone sitting behind a piano, playing these songs and singing while patrons sipped on twenty dollar cups of overpriced coffee. 

When I think of the blues and/or jazz, I also often times like to go to this place where the stage is dimly lit, someone is playing music which is way too good to be heard by the likes of the drunks at the bar and, well, it's just a story that plays out in almost every detective novel I've ever read and it just has a seedy underbelly feel to it as well.   What this does show me though is that by combining these two locations- imagining Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon in either of them- has this music bending and breaking genres, which is never a bad thing.

Perhaps the most odd quality of this music (which also somehow makes it the most enduring to me) is that these songs are with lyrics that you might not associate with either the blues or jazz.   In the first song, there are so many ones and zeroes being sung about I feel as if he is singing in binary and if I was better practiced I would be able to translate it.   He does make mention of computers, which even with contemporary jazz/blues I tend to think of the lyric content as staying away from modern technology. 

Almost perfectly and all too fitting the last song on here sings for you to go back to the beginning.   It is a sign that there might only be four songs on here and they might come and go by in a flash (Though that is more a reflection on my enjoyment of them than their actual total length in minutes) Not only is it great self-promotion and self-preservation, it also adds that love of computers and math I get from the lyrics overall because what better way to end than on an infinite loop. 

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