When Audiofemme last spoke to The Harrow in February, they were working on an upcoming LP Silouhettes, which was mixed by Xavier Paradis, was released last week, and it’ll give you chills: the moody, atmospheric music creates a shadowy world for Vanessa Irena’s drawn-out, longing vocals. Intricate drum machine programming is provided by Irena, Barret Hiatt and Frank Deserto (Hiatt and Deserto also play synths, and Deserto contributes a steady undercurrent of bass as well), and Greg Fasolino plays haunting guitar parts.
The Brooklyn band cites artists like The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack and Portishead. Like Deserto said in their Band Of The Month interview, “We generally err on the dreamier side.” In songs like “White Nile,” that means a gentle, chime-like melody, but on songs like the ominous “Darling,” it sounds a bit more like a nightmare. They take a break from the dreamy sound with “Feral Haze,” a bouncy, almost-playful track with a spoken-word chorus that insists “Animals, we’re animals.”
One of the album’s best tracks is “When The Pendulum Swings,” which contains the line that gives the LP its name: “Speak softly, I hear laughter/Step gently, I see silhouettes.” The bassline is heavy and driving yet melodic, and sparse flourishes of guitar lighten the track’s brooding mood just slightly. With this song, and the rest of Silhouettes, The Harrow shows us that darkness can be beautiful. And as Hiatt said in their interview, “Darkness is way more interesting. And real.”
You can check out “When The Pendulum Swings Below,” and purchase the album here.