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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Harper Bloom's debut EP Faith, Sex & Skin is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and so much more.

Image: Supplied.

Last week, Melbourne based musician Harper Bloom unveiled her debut EP, Faith, Sex & Skin. Featuring the singles Shaky Bones, Walk My Way and Sunflower Girls, the release arrives with three brand new tracks, together creating one coherent narrative.

Produced by Benjamin McCarthy (G-Flip, Alex the Astronaut, Gordi), Faith, Sex & Skin brings honest melodies and raw vocals atop lo-fi production. Conceptually, the EP celebrates diversity, and holding on to your sense of humour through the hard times.

To celebrate the release, Bloom is set to hit the road later this month, performing across Australia’s east coast. Kicking off in Melbourne on June 26, the run of shows will continue to on to Sydney, before wrapping up in Brisbane. Tickets are on sale now!

Faith, Sex & Skin is out now! Read our interview with Harper Bloom below.

Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?

For sure! I’ve been playing guitar all of my life, which was a hobby that my Dad got me into. He made me take lessons and learn a lot of Bob Dylan and from that I really loved the art of making something meaningful from words and melodies. I had written a bunch of songs in a little notepad, and my girlfriend encouraged me to get up there and start playing open mics. After my first few open mics, I realised that performing and sharing music was something magical and that made me want to pursue a career.

You’re about to release your debut EP, can you tell us a bit about how this EP took shape and your overall creative writing process?

I think the main idea is that I like to tell a coherent narrative in an optimistic and hopeful way. When I have an idea for a song, I try and think about – if this was a movie, how would it pan out? This guides the glue that sticks the verses together. I try my best to keep each song positive melodically. Life can be hard but music can make it a lot better and it can completely change your mood.

How did you arrive at the sonic sounds present on this EP?

I wanted the sound of the EP to be really lo-fi and raw! I’m not a pitch perfect singer and I didn’t want that to be covered up, I just wanted the songs to be recorded almost like I was just playing them in my living room. Benjamin McCarthy produced all the songs on the EP so he had a big hand in shaping the sound! Ben is a multi-instrumentalist and added the synth, bass and drums. We wanted to keep the folk roots because I am a singer-songwriter at heart, but have a hint of electro-pop just to make the songs pop a bit more and move away from folk-singer-songwriter to more folk-pop.

You take a look at themes such as self acceptance, same sex love and vulnerability can you delve deeper into why these themes were so important to you to share and document them through this medium?

I think a core part of my music and the message that I am trying to get across is that we should be coming together to celebrate diversity and build a kinder and more accepting society. It’s so important for me to share, because when I was younger, I had a lot of trouble accepting myself and being truthful to people around me of how I really feel. A lot of that (to be honest) is because of the harsh judgement of others. I think that using music to help people recognise that we are all at our core, humans that want to give and receive love, enables people to understand and empathise with those who are different to them.

If Faith, Sex & Skin was a piece of pre-existing art (sculpture, painting, photograph etc - anything but the EP’s own visuals) which artwork would it be and why?

Ooo interesting question! I’d like to think it would be the United Nation emblem because it is a symbol of the whole world coming together to attain world peace.

What’s one song off your EP you would play to someone who hadn’t heard your music to make them an instant fan?

Love Slow! It’s not as boppy and upbeat as my other songs, but this song means so much to me and I think that emotion really transfers to the listener when I play it. It’s about wishing someone can see themselves through your eyes so they can see how valuable they are ☺

You’ve traveled from your home town of Perth, to New York, back to Perth only to then move to Melbourne, how have these locations shaped you as an artist and what’s something or somewhere you’d hope to travel to next in the pursuit of expanding your skills as a musician?

I think New York has this melting pot of creatives and so many iconic artists have come out of there. For me, I really enjoyed sitting in coffee shops or bars on the strips that Bob Dylan or Neil Diamond use to hang out in or perform at. I’d just sit there and feel so inspired about turning tiny moments from the world around me into anecdotes for songs. I’d probably like to go back to New York and New Orleans to increase my understanding of jazz and blues, just as a side interest. Although, I think it would transfer to my overall guitar skills and unlock different ideas and melodies. I’d love to tour through North America and Europe one day too!

Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?

I am a big fan of Mallrat. I think her song writing is incredible. She’s very poetic and I think her lyrics really hit a nerve. I also really enjoy her production. I am also a big fan of Sycco, I think she has a really beautiful and unique voice and I think she writes great songs that are lyrically quite different to everything else out there at the moment.

You have a couple of shows starting this month, what can fans expect from one of your live performances?

Yes, I am really excited to get out and play with my band! We have been working really hard on a fun and vibrant live show! You can expect a lot of sing-alongs and crowd participation and lots of dancing :)

The past twelve months have taken its toll on the music industry, specifically the touring sector, but also in terms of making that in person connection with audience members and creating a shared feeling and experience. How important do you think live music is not only for yourself as a musician showcasing their art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?

I think it’s incredibly important because gigging is the life-blood of being a musician. By supporting other artists, you can build real connections with new fans that will now share your music with their family and friends. Also, playing your own shows helps solidify your relationship with those people who listen to your music. They get an opportunity to see you and meet you and get a real idea of who you are and what you’re all about (and vice versa). I think that grows an incredible bond between the artist and the listener. You're “in the moment” together and that’s a powerful thing.


Biggest influences?

Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, The Beatles

Dream collaboration?

Paul McCartney

Album that has had the most impact on you?

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Indie, Folk, Pop

Best song of 2021 so far?

Oo tough call, I’m going to be naughty and say Love Slow by me haha!

If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

Big Fish

Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Miley Cyrus

Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

Moonfire - Boy and Bear

Best concert you have been to?

Tash Sultana at Fremantle Arts Centre

First concert you went to?

Probably The Wiggles!

First album you ever bought?

I think it was Angus and Julia Stone ‘A Book Like This’.

If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

Bendy Bloom??

Guilty music pleasure?

I like Beyonce

If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Stevie Nicks

An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

Obviously Elvis!

What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Don’t read reviews of your own songs!

The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

After I read a sign that said ‘There is boldness in beginning’


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