Category: harmony james

Album review: Resignation by Harmony James

50070532_387767361797996_2747390013448032802_nCalling someone ‘the real deal’ sounds almost like a lazy compliment – the words rhyme, for one thing, and the phrase says nothing much about what it really means. But it’s a necessary shorthand, because the full line would take a while to say. That’s because it’s shorthand for: ‘this person has talent and skill and commitment and heart, and their work causes some kind of deep recognition inside the listener but it’s not the sort of thing that words can describe properly’.

With the release of her debut album, Tailwind, in 2009, it was immediately, electrifyingly clear that Harmony James was the real deal. The album was self-funded and independently released in the days before crowd funding made the idea of artists ranging free from labels less usual. James had socked away money from her ‘day job’, written her songs and chosen her producer, Herm Kovacs. The tracks on Tailwind were jewels, in music and lyric. James made that album as if it might be her one and only: she gave her audience everything, and she was embraced accordingly.

There was a detour through a major label after that, with the albums Handfuls of Sky and Cautionary Tales – a detour because, while it’s impossible for James to be anything less than excellent, the structure of these albums did not have the same impact as that on Tailwind. While the songs were wonderful, there wasn’t the sense that James was in control of how they were presented to her audience – probably because there’s not that much control when you’re on a label. (It’s also important to note that everything is relative: when an artist is this good, an appraisal of their work always takes place on a sliding scale of excellence, not one that careens between ‘bad’, ‘okay’ and ‘good’.)

James’s latest album, Resignation, is self-funded and independently released; it was produced by Glen Hannah, who is well known to country music audiences. Resignation feels like a sequel to Tailwind mainly because, almost ten years later, it sounds as if James has returned to herself. On the third track, ‘Little Kindnesses’, you could swear she almost sighs with relief at one point. Track five, ‘The Life She Left’, feels like the answer to the question raised by Tailwind‘s ‘Precious Little’. ‘Can I Be That To You’ is the rebuttal to ‘Somebody Stole My Horse’.

Overall, the vulnerability that James offered on Tailwind is so present, and so beautifully handled, that as a fan it is hard not to feel emotional. But the experience of those intervening albums is also clear: Resignation is a tight, focused work that could not have appeared right after Tailwind. While that vulnerability is there, James also sounds more confident. Her distinctive young-old voice has its moments of pure power, and it can also beckon to the listener for understanding.

While Resignation will make James’s fans very happy, it would also suit the listener who’s never heard her songs before. James has a deep understanding of country music and her lineage, so those who are loyal to the country music genre will find a lot to appreciate, and it’s also simply a wonderful album.

Many Australian country music artists are highly educated in the genre and also understand their relationship with the fans, which means their work can be understood on many levels: as great country music; as songs that communicate to listeners regardless of their musical tastes; as stories, as confessionals, as means of connection. The fact that there are many such artists means that fans have a lot to choose from – to the extent that I sometimes wonder if we all truly appreciate just how privileged we are to have this music on offer. Ten years ago James announced herself as a major artist; she is still that, and now she’s more: she’s a major artist who is still creating music, which in itself is an achievement. The privilege of being able to listen to this new music should not be underestimated. Because, despite its title, Resignation is not an album that sounds like defeat, retreat or weariness – it is a glorious manifestation of James’s skills and talent, and it has been worth waiting for.

Resignation is out now. You can order it from the artist: www.harmonyjames.com

Or find it on a streaming service.

Album review: Cautionary Tales by Harmony James

In all the realms of Australian country music, there is really no one like Harmony James. When her self-funded, independently released debut album Tailwind arrived in 2009, it announced a singer-songwriter whose heart was bleedingly open yet who remained shy – rather than coy – of all those who could see the wound. Here was someone who declared her insecurities along with her dreams and still found whimsy in the world. Her voice contained echoes of a yodel and country music traditions. She was an old-fashioned girl – musically and otherwise.

James’s second album, Handfuls of Sky, still had that open heart but it was a more obviously commercial effort, and in places it seemed that James was trying to be ‘modern’ – whatever that means. The album sounded more like a collection of songs than a body of work – by any measure it was a very good album, but it wasn’t Tailwind.
Cautionary Tales is James’s newly released third album, and it ventures closer to her first than her second. Where Tailwind immediately captivated a listener, though, Cautionary Tales is, well … cautious. That heart is there, for sure – and some of the stories in these songs contain all sorts of heartbreak: a dead child, lost love, dreams turned to dust. But it sounds as though James is more wary of letting us see that heart than she was on Tailwind. Perhaps now she knows the consequences of being so exposed. Or perhaps she just wants us to prove that we really want to know what she has to tell us – because repeated listening of this album really pays off. It’s only once we’re familiar with these songs that we can hear the nuances of what she’s done: the light and shade in the lyrics; the slight tremolo in her voice that tells us more about what she’s singing than the lyrics ever could; the power in her voice right when she needs it. 
So when I say that there’s no one like Harmony James, it’s because of these layers of meaning and emotion. The closest comparison – not in musical style but in terms of what they bring to the world – is Kasey Chambers. Chambers is an emotional singer and an emotional songwriter, and both women have the sound of someone who is playing for all the marbles – and not at all sure that she’ll win them, but willing to do it anyway and let the consequences be what they are. That is courage in an artist. Harmony James showed this courage when she first released Tailwind and she’s showing it again now. And quite apart from that, she’s a wonderful songwriter. 
Cautionary Tales by Harmony James is out now through Warner Music Australia,

Harmony James is touring to support the album release:
8 August 2014
Rooty Hill RSL, NSW
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest Pete Denahy
9 August 2014
Mittagong RSL
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest Pete Denahy
10 August 2014
Mudgee Brewing Company
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest Pete Denahy
14 August 2014
Camelot Lounge, Marrickville
Harmony James with special guest Peter Denahy
15 August 2014
Lizotte’s Dee Why
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest  Pete Denahy
16 August 2014
Lizottes Central Coast
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest  Pete Denahy
17 August 2014
Lizotte’s Newcastle
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest Pete Denahy
29 August 2014
Gympie Music Muster
4 September 2014
Hallam Hotel, Victoria
Harmony James & Luke O’Shea with special guest Pete Denahy
5 September 2014
Bairnsdale RSL
Harmony James with Luke O’Shea and special guest Peter Denahy

Interview: Harmony James (part II)

This is the second and final part of my interview with Harmony James, an Australian singer-songwriter who can’t seem to help making new fans every time she plays somewhere or releases a new album. Harmony’s second album, Handfuls of Sky, was released earlier this year and I spoke to her not long after its launch during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Part I of this interview can be read here.




Would you consider writing songs for other people?
Absolutely, I’m assigned to a publishing company now and they know that I write a lot of songs and that I don’t necessarily record them all, and we’re certainly going to look at whether someone else lends a voice to them. And I write songs that are fun and then I think, ‘I don’t want to own that, I don’t want to actually stand up and say that out loud as me’, so it might be nice if someone else does.

I was wondering about the publishing company deal and that’s obviously a big benefit, that they can take your songs and put them with other people.
Exactly, and they’ve got contacts all over the world, so I expect them to stand and deliver at some stage!


I noticed on your forward schedule that you’re doing a lot of supports for Troy Cassar-Daley and then you’re headlining your own gigs sometimes at the same venues. Will you be doing those headline gigs as a band or are you on your own?
With a band. People don’t often get to see Harmony James with a band, because when I do the support stuff it’s been [with a] guitar, so it would be nice to be able to just sneak out and do a few ‘pow’ moments.


It worked very well at Tamworth, and watching your band actually made me realise that country music, at least in Australia, is really inclusive of all ages and it was just great seeing Dan Conway playing with Jeff McCormack and there was Glen Hannah and Steve Fearnley, your drummer, in that gig and I just thought it’s really about who wants to play with who, not what age anyone is.
Exactly. It was funny backstage, actually, because Jeff was saying, ‘I remember when I was the young fellow in the room and now I’m the oldest guy here’. And then we had Dan who is, I guess, practically a kid when you look at those musos, but I think it’s really important that the industry also lets some of those new kids come through because at some point we’re going to need them.


I was talking to another performer in her early 20s and she said how she’d been embraced by the audiences and people who didn’t know her, and I think country does allow that to happen. It seems to be a bit easier to get a start with audiences and I don’t know if you found that at Tamworth in particular, in the past?
I think Tamworth is a unique place because when you’re in your establishment phase it would be hard to assemble a whole lot of paying people to come to your gigs, but you’ve got a better chance at Tamworth because at least you’ve already got a town full of people who know they probably like your kind of music, so if you’re going to put on a gig that’s where you go.


Just back to your songwriting. Not everyone’s like that – there are a lot of people who perform other people’s songs – and it’s quite a personal thing to perform your own songs but the motivations are possibly also different. With you in particular, listening to your songs, it feels like you’ve got a real drive to tell the stories that are in the songs, and I was wondering if that’s something that’s been with you for a really long time and if, in fact, you do have that drive?
It’s a funny thing because when I’m writing songs it’s just almost probably my own personal venting. I love music and I’m ruminating on whatever it is that’s going on in my head at the time, and a song happens and I just write. I’m never thinking at the time, ‘Do the fans need this and will they sing it back to me?’ Anything like that, I’m just writing. And then sometimes they just sit with you and you think, ‘I think this is a keeper’. And so you start to have what ends up looking like a batch of songs that might be an album, and all of a sudden you’re on this slippery slope and you’re recording it and it’s all down in hard copy and then you kind of go, ‘Hey, this was written in the privacy of my own room about my thoughts and things, and now I’m just going to broadcast them and I can never take that back.’ It’s really odd, because when I’m writing that’s not the intention but then I just kind of go ahead and do it anyway.


And also you’re in good hands with your producer/manager because that seems to be a really good combination, you and Herm Kovac. How did you find him in the first place – given that you were running that project yourself, you could have picked any producer?
Yeah, that’s right. I didn’t know a whole lot, it was back in 2006 when I was thinking – initially I was literally thinking, ‘I’m just going to record a single’, and I had a couple of people I’d been aware of their work or what they’d been up to over the years and sort of thought maybe I should just get in touch with them and see what they thought, and Herm was one of them. I’m trying to remember how I was aware of him. You know what? I was aware of him because I knew he’d produced – it was all on the strength of one song, it’s a song called ‘Stay’ that Grant Richardson recorded, and I remember when I first heard that song on the radio I just thought, ‘Wow, that sounds world class’. And so it was pretty much that one song that I’d heard that made me put Herm on the shortlist, and he was just one of the more courteous people who actually got back to me in a timely fashion and all those types of things, so I was quite lucky that he just had some good business practice going on and I ended up going ahead with him.


Well, I’m sure the people who didn’t get back to you are probably kicking themselves now. I would be, if I were them! But it has been a good combination, obviously. He really understands where to put your voice in the mix, for example, because you do have a strong voice but you could also be overpowered by the instruments with the wrong mix.
Exactly. He’s been quite a gem, to be honest, to find and work with. He’s very passionate about the music and he’ll crow to anyone who’ll listen about it because he believes in it as well, so I’ve had a few wins there.


So in the way of things in country music, are you now going to take up the banjo?
Personally, I would have to find a whole other lifetime worth of time to fit in any instruments. My big plan, one of these years, is to actually become proficient on the guitar.


I think that’s a bit harsh, you seemed fairly proficient when I saw you play.
You know how they say, in a room full of guitars, I’m a pretty good welder.


Except at that Tamworth gig a couple of weeks ago when I think there was one song you sang that you took your guitar off and you said you felt it wasn’t quite right, so even if you don’t think you’re good on the guitar you’re clearly attached to it.
Yeah, yeah. I think it’s like this little security blanket, isn’t it?


It is. So I think my time is about to be up, but I don’t think I’ve got any more questions left anyway!
There you go, perfect. Look, you couldn’t have planned it better.


That’s right. But congratulations on the album, you’re an amazing country music performer and we’re very lucky to have you in Australia, I think.
Thank you. I appreciate your time, listening to my record.



Harmony James is touring with Troy Cassar-Daley and then on her own. Go to www.harmonyjames.com for details. Handfuls of Sky is out now through Warner.

Interview: Harmony James (part I)

When Harmony James first appeared with her debut album, Tailwind, it was immediately obvious that Australian country music had a new star. Tailwind was an accomplished album full of wonderful songs, all except one of which were written by James. Tailwind was a completely independent release, which was one of the other remarkable things about it, as you’ll see in the interview.

Since Tailwind‘s release, James has signed with a major label (Warner), signed a publishing deal, released a second album and joined Troy Cassar-Daley on the road for his current tour.

I spoke to Harmony James not long after this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, which saw the release of that second album, Handfuls of Sky. I’ve been looking forward to this album for a long time, and wasn’t disappointed, so it was a great thrill to be able to interview Harmony (warning, I probably come across sounding like a fangirl – because I am).

This is the first part of a two-part interview.




I saw you play in Tamworth, I think it would have been two weeks ago, almost exactly two weeks ago, you were probably walking off stage.
It feels like a year.


It was quite a different performance to what I’d seen a couple of years before that at the Southgate Inn. You seemed quite a lot more comfortable in your skin as a performer and as a band leader.
Somebody in the band said to me I seemed very relaxed on the day, so that was nice. And, I guess, the best part about work with them is they know that I like to try and have everything just so, and they agreed to do a rehearsal a couple of weeks prior, I flew down and we went through everything so I felt very confident – they’re great anyway but I felt confident that we were all over it, apart from me and my guitar.


Well, you seemed relaxed, it kind of seemed like it was a natural place for you to be now and I was actually wondering whether – I know you spent a bit of time on the road with the McClymonts, so I was wondering if a lot of that, just that ongoing touring where you’re out night after night, different audiences made you feel more relaxed?
I think it would have to, because I guess from McClymonts tour, playing to a different room every night and in a different space and types of people and everything, you really did get a range of experience. I mean, I’ve been doing gigs before but that was a really sort of intense version of it and a lot of fun and different challenges and things, so I guess it probably did make me a bit more confident eventually.


And I actually saw you on that tour with them – because I like to see the McClymonts whenever I can – and I thought it was pretty brave, actually, because it was you and your guitar, and they had their full band, so I thought it’s quite a big thing to get up just you and a guitar when you know there’s a full band coming after you.
And the funny thing is that people who are there to see them are there to see three absolutely stunning girls who harmonise together and so you’re kind of like, ‘Wow, this is nothing to do with me, I’m just lucky to be here.’ But for the most part, I was fortunate enough to win people over.

And look, your album – I’ll mention Tailwind in this instance, because I just absolutely loved it from when I heard it and a friend of mine bought it and it’s not the sort of country music she normally loves, and she just said to me, ‘I can’t take it off, I just keep playing it.’ And it’s still the only album that sits in my car permanently, that I will reach for at least once a week. And so, I guess, those songs were so strong that taking them on the road would have won fans for you.
Yeah, yeah – it was a massive year because, I guess, the way I look at it is I did have this strong album, I sort of lucked into having what is considered quite a good album. and I just needed an audience for it, so for someone to hand that to me on a silver platter was such a gift and a great opportunity.


Well, they obviously wanted to as well. But I remember either reading or hearing you talk or something about with Tailwind, I think you financed that yourself and put it all together, and that’s such a huge undertaking, because it really did seem like a big production. It was 16 songs, you had a really slick CD insert – so is that the case. that you did it all yourself?
Absolutely, yes, and, I guess, that’s why I’m not 21 and doing it because I always intended to, if I ever did record, to try and do a good job. I didn’t want to just hand it out to [my] mates at a barbecue. I either wanted to do it properly or not at all, and I had to change a lot of things about my life and get some earning power and saving and borrowing power and really do a good job of it.


So how long was that plan for you, because I’m sure there are a lot of musicians who are thinking, ‘I can put a couple of songs on iTunes’, and that sort of thing, but you came out with a fully realised album that had been really well produced, you’d obviously researched your producer, you made it a great package and that’s a long time in the planning.
Absolutely, and I was 12 years old when I first realised that I would love to be a country singer. I heard for the first time something that was actually called country music and it had an identity and I loved it and I went, I would love to do that. But at that time I never really believed I could do it because even then I think I knew that that was a big deal and then I loved music and saturated myself in music and kept playing and singing and writing and everything but it took a long time to get to the point where I believed I could or should gamble on myself in that way.


So that was when you were in the Barkly Downs area working, saving money, not doing much else apart from writing music?
Yes, that’s when I finally was in a position to actually go the whole hog and borrow a big wad of money, and initially it was just the four-track EP as a bit of a test fodder, and I put that out and had a really good response, so we turned that into a full album and that’s why the album got so big.

So now that you’ve moved to Warner as a label, I imagine that takes – some people would possibly think, why would you go from having all that control over your own music, to giving some of it to a major? But I would also think they take some of the grunt work away from you.
It’s an interesting process too, I guess, what I’m hoping to do with the label is utilise them to increase my career. So, yeah, they do have a big machine and a whole bunch of stuff to do what I was scraping around doing on my own. But, I guess, it’s just profile-wise I want this to be what I do for a living long term, and I see them as having better power to be able to get me in that position than on my own. Like, I obviously can do it on my own but it’s very hard work and it will take a lot longer, and I’m hoping that their weaponry might give me a year or two shaved off.


And I would think now there’s a process of acceleration, whereby you start to play more gigs, you’re getting more profile, you’re doing more interviews possibly, and does that affect your songwriting? Does it affect the amount of time and space that you have to write new songs?
Yes and no. Being busy means that it’s harder to get the really introspective headspace that I typically use to write, but at the same time I’ve got contacts through all these people now who can put me with other writers, which is something I’m just starting to explore, and I was quite lucky the other day, somebody teed up a co-write session with Tim Ritchie for me, so on one side of the coin I’m busier and it’s harder to find time or headspace to write, but on the other side I’m getting opportunities I wouldn’t have had before.


As a fan of your songwriting, I’m actually quite surprised that you would write with other people because I think your songs are so great, but I guess it’s a different perspective.
Yes, and I’ll be honest with you, the jury’s out as to whether that is something I will do a lot of, but there’s no rule to say that I can’t try it and see how I go, and so far it’s a mixed bag. I’ve had co-write sessions that have kind of been, ‘Oh they’re a lovely person, but we didn’t gel’. And there are other ones where I felt like we worked together in a way that it was still my truth and I could feel like I owned and believed the song without compromising too much, which is important to me and the way I write. So I think it’s going to be hit and miss, but at the moment I’m just willing to explore and see if it adds value or if I’m better off on my own.


Do you discard a lot of songs in the process? Because there were a lot on Tailwind and Handfuls of Sky is a good, solid 12 or 13 tracks, from memory. Are there many that don’t make it?
Yeah, yeah. And there’s a couple of songs still bouncing around that missed the cut on Tailwind and they missed the cut on Handfuls of Sky, but I still feel like we’ll probably end up finding a spot for them somewhere. We all like them and then there’s one reason why we decided it doesn’t make the cut this time around – not because it’s not good enough but because there’s another song that’s close enough in subject matter or tempo or whatever it is. Yeah, yeah, there’s quite a lot of songs, and the scary bit as a writer is that every time you write a new song you forget the oldies and then sometimes you go back and you go, ‘Oh my God that’s pretty good, isn’t it?’ You play it to someone else and hope that they agree with you, but yeah, there’s heaps there.

I’ve noticed on the new songs that there’s at least a couple – with ‘Hauling Cane’ and ‘Great Grey Cloud’, there’s a sense of the road less travelled or the road more travelled in the sense of having made choices and how that’s played into current life. Are they reflective of your experiences or are you writing characters in those songs?
The headspace I was in when I was writing parts of Handfuls of Sky, I was kind of reeling to be honest. Since I’ve launched into this whole exercise so much has happened and so much has changed. My entire life has changed and I’ve experienced things that I’d never had to do before, and I’ve learned and I’ve been exposed to embarrassment and fantastic opportunities and everything, and I feel like I’ve probably aged 10 years in 3 or something. So yeah, definitely, the headspace I was in when I was writing a lot of those songs was, I guess, analysing the changes in my life and where I’m at and dealing with it.


In the song ‘Home’ on Tailwind – that sense of belonging that you managed to get across to the Barkly region, you can almost hear the sense of belonging in the song and the way you sing it – do you still feel like part of you is there in the bush under the stars or is that just not a part of your life any more?
It’s a really bizarre place, because I miss it but I don’t allow myself to miss it too much, because I don’t want to be miserable about a choice I made, because the choice I made was the right choice. I did need to move to the city to be in music and I made that move and it’s paying off and things are great, and I do have to sacrifice that part of my life at the moment for it, so it’s a bizarre thing, because that’s who I was for such a long time. But I’ve adapted pretty well and I don’t get a whole lot of my fix of the bush, so I do feel a bit detached from it as well. Like, the jillaroo who was on Tailwind, I don’t feel like the jillaroo any more. So it’s an odd place. People are like, ‘You’ve changed’. And I’m like, ‘Well, yes, I probably have.’


And as a functioning human being that’s completely normal.
Exactly. You do what you do.


So you moved to Brisbane, and obviously the next logical step would be to move to Sydney and then to Nashville.
Yeah, yeah, although I was talking to someone the other day about how Brisbane was my little baby steps because I’m too scared for a real big city. I think I can do Sydney now and they said, ‘No, honey, don’t do it. Don’t do it.’


Because they don’t think it would be right for you?
I think they were just like, ‘Who would want to do that?’ So maybe I’ll just skip that and go straight to Nashville.


Well, talking of Nashville, for Australian country performers, I guess, there is a time where a lot of you have a choice, which is, do you keep trying to build your profile in Australia and a lot of performers make a career – Beccy Cole for example, has a career travelling around the country, performing and releasing songs here, but if you’re at all interested in exploring further – maybe exploring co-writing or different audiences – at some point it must become an almost difficult choice, do I stay or do I go?
Yeah. And I feel like I’m not really at the point where I’m pushed to make that choice yet. I feel like I’m in a bit of a situation right now where I’m just emerging and I’m getting opportunities right here, right now, and I feel like I should just sort of give them my best crack and as things build and I start to believe that hey, this really is working, then it’s probably in the next 5- and 10 year-plans we’ll have to include all that sort of thing.
Part II of this interview will be published soon.

Handfuls of Sky is available now through Warner and also on iTunes.

Tamworth gig review: Harmony James

As soon as her show began at the Wests Diggers showroom at midday on Thursday 26 January, I could tell that the Harmony James v. 2012 was very different to the version I’d seen play at the Southgate Inn in January 2010. Harmony in 2010 was far less confident, almost apologetic about being there on stage in front of us, despite the fact that Tailwind had been one of the best albums for years and she had every right to feel like a superstar. She acknowledged then that she’s an introvert, and she said it, too, at Wests this year. But the difference is that she’s found her ‘gig legs’ and worked out a way to put on a show that means she doesn’t have to give up her personality just to make it in showbiz. It’s the internal arrangement a lot of performers probably make – possibly she learnt it on the road with the McClymonts – and one that is more helpful than harmful: they find a version of themselves that can go on stage and tell jokes and banter with the band, a version that does not take anything away from their true selves and, perhaps, protects it. And in Harmony, it’s a version that works.

Harmony took the stage at the front of a band full of very accomplished musicians: Glen Hannah and Dan Conway on guitars, Jeff McCormack on bass and Steve Fearnley on drums. Glen and Steve had played with Felicity Urquhart the night before, so I could only admire their ability to turn around and play a completely different set so well. Jeff did his usual outstanding job in the rhythm section and Dan, while looking like a teenager, played like someone with years and years of experience.
But the star was definitely Harmony. Her voice – that powerful instrument that seems to have all sorts of nooks and crannies – soared clearly over the band, and she delivered a show for fans to enjoy and to win over newcomers alike. It was a great showcase of her songs from both albums. She has said in the past that she’s a songwriter, not a performer, but she served those songs very well in performance. She’s also touring extensively this year, as a support act for Troy Cassar-Daley and headlining her own shows, and I can now thoroughly recommend that you get yourself along to a gig.

Harmony James – new CD now in 2012

The follow-up to Harmony James’s debut album, Tailwind, will now be released in early 2012. Handfuls of Sky will make its first appearance on 20 January, during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. This follows Harmony’s music publishing and record label deals, with Alberts and Warners respectively. Harmony is also joining Troy Cassar-Daley for a series of shows in March 2012 – visit Troy’s site for details. So it’s a big year ahead for one of country music’s brightest stars – I can’t wait to get my hands on the CD!

Harmony James ramping up ahead of new album release

One of my favourite Australian singer-songwriters, Harmony James, has a new album due but hasn’t let us know the release date yet … But in amongst an abundance of hand-wringing (on my part) there is at least a single to enjoy, called ‘Pride’. As with the rest of the material on the new album, the song is written by Harmony and produced by Herm Kovacs, who was at the helm of her first album, Tailwind.

The video clip (can we still call them that when actual videotape is pretty much a thing of the past?) of ‘Pride’ is now in fairly heavy rotation on CMC. Filming took place in an old house in Picton, which is to the south-west of Sydney. The house is rumoured to be haunted, although it seems Harmony didn’t encounter any ghosts – which she was disappointed about. I’m currently reading Karina Machado’s Where Spirits Dwell and am sufficiently freaked out by it to think that seeing no ghosts is a good thing …

In other Harmony news: she was awarded the 2011 APRA Personal Development Award. No doubt she’ll be given other APRA awards in future – not to mention Golden Guitars. (Yes, I’m completely biased.) In the meantime, she needs to release that second album!

www.harmonyjames.com