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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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Stabbing Eastward

As out there as it gets: The Psychic Paramount plays Cameo on July 8

The nearly nine minute sonic assault that The Psychic Paramount unleashes on “DDB” (streaming below) is a veritable tour-de-force of ferociously thrashed guitars, rumbling bass, frantic clattering drums and hammered cymbals. No vocals are provided, since this exploratory expedition to the center of your psyched out mind is all that’s necessary. The similarly titled initials only “RW” further showcases the bands chops via sophisticated percussive beats, while guitars alternate between minimal open space tensions to all out bombastic thrash. “N6” presents waves of furiously strummed guitars and rolling snares that echoes bits of black metal while avoiding the pointless caterwauling of that genre. Their groove is far more fluid and natural, while sacrificing none of the power and force this music delivers. Real psych rock fans shouldn't miss these guys when they play Cameo with Tunde Adebimpe's Stabbing Eastward and Guardian Alien on July 8. - Dave Cromwell


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