NEW ARTIST FINDS: HARRY EDWARDS

2/28/15
Harry Edwards

It’s a very fine line an artist walks when they choose a minimalist path. I would say that most of the time it doesn’t really work out well and the production seems to come off as lazy, and some perhaps genuinely talented artists have fallen by the wayside because their sound wasn’t “enough.” Yet there are some people who are able to create meaningful space in between the sparse beats and synths and offer their fans actual content, as opposed to “here’s some noises I made in Pro Tools.”

Harry Edwards is positioned to glide into the latter bunch. Heavily reminiscent of James Blake and maybe even a cyberpunk Sam Smith. The music itself is jangling, disjointed and empty while Edwards’ smooth, sweet voice keep the listener engaged the whole time.

“Logs Are People Too” initially turned me off because of how little is going on in the track. But after I settled into it for a moment and took down that wall that has “minimal = lazy” on it, I started to really enjoy it. The constance of the snaps and single synth notes, almost like a leaking faucet, builds a lonely space, like a dingy empty apartment. Edwards’ melancholy mournings paint the walls of this space a spectacularly sad shade of blue, and the track crescendos (in a way) with deep basses and fuzzy synths, the shaking of house keys, and that constant, maddening drip. Strangely sad, bizarrely beautiful.

 

HARRY EDWARDS - LOGS ARE PEOPLE TOO

“How I Learnt To Love The Blonde” could be considered more of the same, but there are some worthwhile nuances to be enjoyed also. Here more than the previous track is where Edwards’ vocal similarities/influences become clear. He has a wonderfully morose voice, conveying deep emotion while demonstrating his vocal talent without straying into self-gratification or the overly warbly theatrics that Sam Smith seems to enjoy. It’s genuine in a very refreshing way. The bed of sound under it reminded me of Autechre and overall the track creates a world of broken machinery pondering its loneliness.

 

HARRY EDWARDS - HOW I LEARNT TO LOVE THE BLONDE

By far the most surprising and pleasing track Edwards has on his page is “Winter No. 3.” It’s an instrumental piece, and yet so much more than that. It’s a soothing nocturne, it’s a gorgeous meditation, it’s a soothing stroll in twilight. Indeed, there are several other piano pieces on Harry Edwards’ Soundcloud page and they’re all beautiful. These short, sweet tracks I think say more about the artist than anything else. Here we have a mature, talented musician with a solid ear for beauty. “Winter No. 3” is a refreshing reminder of the simplistic beauty of the piano.

 

HARRY EDWARDS - WINTER NO. 3

I don’t think I’ve gone so quickly from “meh” to wanting more than I have with Harry Edwards. The minimalism and sparse nature of his music may not immediately win you over if you’re anything like me, but patience pays off. He more than adequately demonstrates his musicianship and ability to audialize physical and emotional environments, if you allow yourself to sink into the music. Whether you enjoy the sweetness of his voice, or the regal beauty of his piano instrumentals, you will find something to love about Harry Edwards.