Harves On New Single 'The River'
Melbourne duo Harves have just released their second single ‘The River’. TCI spoke with one half of the project, Matthew Wright, about writing and recording the track in lockdown, as well as their future plans for the band.
Following on from the immediate success of debut single ‘Do Your Worst’, which was released earlier this year, Harves are back with new release ‘The River’, a track that continues to mark the duo as masters of songwriting and production. Clocking in at just over five minutes, ‘The River’ has a groove that is truly hypnotic, and vocals that are equal parts beautiful and brooding. The best part is Samuel K Sproull and Matthew Wright are also putting the finishing touches on further material set for release in 2021.
The Creative Issue: Harves have burst onto the scene this year. How did the two halves of Harves meet and come to work together?
Matthew Wright: Samuel and I have known each other for over ten years now. We’ve collaborated in many different forms and on a number of different projects, but this is the first time we’ve ever started something new together. Shortly after Samuel produced The Getaway Plan‘s most recent record, he and I started sharing new music with each other via dropbox. After much back and forth and many different approaches, Harves is the end result.
TCI: ‘The River’ sounds incredible. Where and when did you record the track?
MW: We recorded the majority of the track in September/October, but the building blocks had been there for nearly a year. Usually we will do most of our work out of Sam’s studio, but due to lockdown we were forced to work separately from our homes. It was a new experience for me- I’m very much used to a professional setting. Recording my own vocals at home was a pretty overwhelming process to begin with, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.
TCI: What is your process like for creating your music?
MW: It’s different for every song we write. It can often depend on what new piece of gear one of us has bought that week. We’re very up and down with our creative periods. We tend to have one to two months of intense creativity, followed by a few weeks of hard inactivity. We’ve learned that you can’t force it, so we try not to put too much pressure on ourselves during the down times.
TCI: This year has been an uncertain and difficult year for many in the music industry, especially in Melbourne. You mentioned that the inspiration for ‘The River’ came from your shared experience in lockdown. How have you stayed positive and stayed on track?
MW: We’re honestly such massive introverts that our day-to-day lives haven’t been hugely affected by the pandemic. Obviously not being able to work together in person has been a pretty big hurdle. Not being able to play shows has been a bit shitty too, but it’s also been kinda nice not having that pressure on us. To maintain positivity, we’re just trying to stay focused on the future and be as prepared as we can be for when we return to some kind of normality.
TCI: You debuted strongly earlier this year with ‘Do Your Worst’ and now have an excellent follow up in ‘The River’. You’ve clearly built an incredible sonic foundation with both of these tracks. How would you describe your sound?
MW: This is up there with the hardest questions to answer as an artist. It’s so very difficult trying to describe your own sound. I suppose we just consider ourselves an amalgamation of all of our influences. Those influences vary wildly though, so it can be kind of hard to pin point. Someone recently said we sound like a mix between Portishead and Fleetwood Mac. That works for me.
TCI: Who are some of your favourite artists that fans of your work should check out?
MW: There’s some pretty amazing talent coming out of Australia of late. We both love Japanese Wallpaper. Gabriel is a super talented producer/writer and we hope to collaborate on a track in the future. Outside of Australia, we’re both big fans of HEALTH. Their music is brilliant and their aesthetic is equally as incredible. We’re both pretty avid gamers, and both aspire to be involved in video game soundtracks. HEALTH are a big inspiration in that respect.
TCI: Your first release ‘Do Your Worst’ was picked up for the 2020 romantic drama After We Collided. How did that opportunity come about and what was it like to have your song featured in a film?
MW: Considering ‘Do Your Worst’ is our first ever release, we feel pretty damn lucky to have gotten that placement. Our publishers (Native Tongue) are mostly to thank for that. We haven’t actually been able to see the movie yet, but the response we’ve had from it has been pretty massive. It seems to have had a positive effect on a lot of people. It’s been a great kick start for us.
TCI: What have you got planned for the rest of 2020 and into 2021?
MW: At this point we’re mostly playing things by ear. We have a tonne of songs in mind for a potential album, but it’s still pretty early days in that regard, so anything could happen. We’ll most likely start looking in to booking our first shows some time soon, but the biggest thing for us is that we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves. We’ve been doing this for long enough now to know that pressure doesn’t always get results. We’re just going to move at our own pace and when we’re ready to make our next move, we will.