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Artist of the Month
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February 2015
The Harmaleighs
""Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush"
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College pals  Haley Grant and  Kaylee Jasperson bonded over shared musical tastes as students at Belmont University, . They were both also familiar with the hardships possessing the voices of angels; it was inevitable that a musical project would come of the union. The Harmaleighs formed in 2013, and the two proceeded to develop their sound, learning how to filter their shared experiences through an Americana sieve, until every heartbreak and setback sounded as though it occurred decades ago somewhere in the Appalachians.

 

The Harmaleigh's debut album, "Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush" will be released February 3rd. It covers the gauntlet of relationships that a young adult can encounter: partners, friends, hometowns. It also showcases the pair as the crackerjack musicians that they are. The same razor-sharp tightness that makes bluegrass so satisfying to hear is present in the entire album. Everything rings out as clear as a bell, and nothing is overdone or unnecessary. The girls have a healthy respect for the traditional, and can whip out a down-home rhythm as easily as a teenaged missive on heartbreak.  

 

Speaking of teenaged missives, a delicate balance is at work here. There are moments that the pair hit Watson Twin-levels of harmonies (like the ghostly intro of opening track "Hesitate") and there are times they turn right around with something more juvenille like "Got fired for dropping a glass of wine/ screw it I'm running out of time," in their recent single, "I Keep Ticking On." There's alot that can go wrong: their music acoustic guitar driven, with some lap steel and banjo thrown in, and they have a propensity to break into foot-stomping jags that recall the receding arena-folk wave. But it doesn’t matter. They’re so good, by grace of their conviction and clarity, that I’d probably be sucking this album down and singing along even if I were a 50-year-old truck driver.

 

That's the appeal of "Pretty Picture..." The album concentrates being young and new into something potent and delivers it with a little bit of sass; that's a combination capable of crossing quite a few boundaries. It's the emotional equivalent of four seasons of summer camp, thirty friendship bracelets, or ten viewings of "Milo and Otis." This album is bound to strike a chord within the most jaded of bastards. Keep up with The Harmaleighs at their website www.theharmaleighs.com

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scene blog

Five Knives @ The High Watt, 6/22/12

Five Knives @ The High Watt, 6/22/12

Three dudes wearing silver masks with sleeveless black hoodies, effeminate by a rad and sexy post screamo, blonde bombshell demon-chick – Nashville's Five Knives have an erotic aesthetic that fuses industrial power chords, hip hop undertones and a chemical pool of synthetic low fi swagger, upstaging the Yeasayer show downstairs. Many ticket buyers left Yeasayer sluggish midway into their set, filling the outdoor smoking porch to the brim and many eventually ditched, catching the second half of the raging Five Knives set upstairs in the newly renovated High Watt or meandering toward the Johnny Cash cover band Cash'd Out in Mercy. Birthday boy and High Watt manager, Brandon Jazz, struggled at the start of his performance earlier in the night and even dodged a cup of ice or two before Cherub's Jason Huber, who was also celebrating a birthday, joined him for a version of “In the Air Tonight” that miraculously brought the crowd in. After waiting around expecting one of the Yeasayer guys to step up to the DJ booth for a set upstairs, most of the crowd had grown tired of the night's attempts at shock value. The only thing not shocking about everything was Yeasayer, who have barely been able to re-master the energy of the tours following their 2007 SXSW breakout performance. – Dh Wright

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