Friday, February 8, 2019

"Can't Go On Like This" is a beautiful folk rock remembrance by Native Harrow

Can't Go On Like This by Native Harrow, the musical moniker of Devin Tuel is a potent folk rocker with old bones. There is a sense of Americana, of 60's protest songs, or people of all colors making something happen, of Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny. From Upstate New York, Tuel reflects on her journey from former ballerina and classically trained singer to the performer and singer-songwriter she is now. The now reflected in her latest album, "Happier Now" of which Tuel says, 

“This record is about becoming your own advocate. Realizing that maybe you are different in several or a myriad of ways and that that is okay. And further, it is about me becoming a grown woman.” 

-Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:

Happier Now (out April 12 on Different Time Records), is a set of nine songs recorded and mixed by Alex Hall (JD McPherson, The Cactus Blossoms, Pokey LaFarge) at Chicago’s Reliable Recorders. The album was co-produced by Hall, Tuel, and her bandmate, multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms.
Native Harrow cuts out clear and vibrant narratives on fear, love, the open road, ill-fated relationships, and coping with the state of the world. “I wanted to share that I made it out of my own thunderstorm. I had experienced the high peaks and very low valleys of my twenties. I saw more of the world on my own, got through challenges, reveled in true moments of triumph… but all the while the world around me was growing louder, wilder, and scarier. Music for me is a place to be soft. This album was my place to feel it all.”   

Happier Now’s nine songs were written during three back-to-back tours across North America supporting the band’s second album, Sorores. The album was recorded in just three days in March 2018 during what Tuel jokingly calls “downtime” in the middle of the grueling 108 date tour. Tuel approached the sessions like a musicians’ workshop, each morning beginning with the songwriter presenting her collaborators with the day’s material. The trio rehearsed and documented each song live on the floor, tracking as a band through each take. No click tracks, scratch tracks, or even headphones; just three musicians in a small room, captured with Hall’s collection of vintage mics and some subtle retro production techniques. Overdubs, including vocal harmonies, B3 organ, Rhodes, and the rare lead guitar were added to decorate these live performances.  The creative energy of the tightly-knit sessions spilled over into Tuel’s songwriting as well - she skipped lunch on the third and final day of recording to pen the road-weary “Hard To Take”. Four days after arriving in Chicago, Native Harrow was back on the road and Happier Now was complete.

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