Where: Toronto, ON
Released in 2021, the debut album, The Occasion, from Toronto musical auteur Harkness was a decade in the making. From the kaleidoscopic pop mirage of the title track to The La’s-esque “I.D.” to songs like “The Opener” and “Code” that feel like long-lost gems from the ‘60s psychedelic garage-rock scene, the album is steeped in the history of great guitar-based pop music.
Harkness points out that despite the layers of multi-part vocal harmonies and sophisticated hooks, there is a dark undercurrent beneath the music’s lush, pop surface. “Ultimately though,” Harkness says, “I hope that while listening to these songs, people at once feel the urgency and desperation of our time but are inspired and emotionally moved enough to take steps in their own life to help improve our collective world.” Harkness is also keen to point out he doesn’t rely on machines or music samples, instead working with “real people playing real instruments to create lush, evocative, deeply human sonic scapes, all with a fresh, modern pop aesthetic.”
Fans of classic guitar-driven pop-rock, from The Kinks to Bleachers, will want to check out Harkness as he takes this lineage and put his own distinctive and evocative twist on it.