In a recent interview, vocalist Nathan Olmstead described the way that the band brought out a new level of emotion and intimacy in This Harbour’s latest recording. Emotion is the word, as The Wicked and The Wild takes listeners on journey of folky indie-rock which in one instant draws you in quietly with an intimate acoustic moment, and in the next carries you away as the full band kicks in.
This Harbour debuted some new music with a well-received CD Release show last Thursday celebrating their newest album, The Wicked and The Wild.
This Harbour is comprised of Nathan Olmstead (vocals, guitar,piano), Molly McNamara (vocals), Carl Matkin (bass), and Ian Hazelwood (drums,vocals).
What really sets This Harbour apart from its contemporaries is the beautiful blend of Olmstead and McNamara voices. Aside from being incredibly pleasing to the ear, the back and forth of male and female voice give powerful depth to the storytelling. This technique is used especially well in the songs “The Wolf” where Nathan takes the lead on vocals, and “The Fox” which is carried by Molly. Other vocal combination highlights include “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Sleep Well,” and there’s something about “Bodies” that I particularly love – maybe because it almost reminds me of Mother Mother in a way.
Hazelwood is clearly more than confident behind the drum kit, perfectly accenting and driving the band, as Matkin handles the bass skillfully and with subtlety. I love the drum and bass combo on “Planting Roots”, and the instances when these two can crank it up a bit on songs like the punk-ier “The Wolf,” and the closing track “I’m Going to Alaska.”
The Wicked and The Wild is brilliantly written and the catchy choruses are sure to be replaying in your head long after the album’s end. I would carry on, but if I did an actual track by track breakdown of TWATW, I would be robbing you of the discovery and the surprises that I enjoyed on my first listen.
This record is full of radio-ready songs, and I would love to see this talented young group take their music to fresh audiences across the country.