Harrison Storm's new EP Be Slow, is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Image: Rawhai Wetere
Last week, Australian musician Harrison Storm shared his new EP, Be Slow. The intimate collection of songs navigates themes of love, heartbreak, moving on, different phases of life and time, and the influences pop culture has on our relationships. Holding up a mirror to his own life, the songs serve as a documentation of a number of moments from the musicians personal life over the course of two years
Fusing together delicate fingerpicking with pop melodies within an alternative folk soundscape, the release is complete with honest and captivating lyricism and Storm's shining vocals on each track. Storm collaborated with producers Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway on the tracks in the English countryside, before returning to Australia to complete the EP with his collaborator Hayden Calnin in Melbourne.
Be Slow is out now! Read our interview with Harrison Storm below.
Tell us a bit how your musical journey began…
I grew up with my mother playing guitar around the house and my father dabbling in poetry here and there. This really influenced me and by the time I was in my late teens I started writing my own songs and falling in love with creating. It took a few years of really trying different things, busking on the streets, playing as many shows as I could before I started to feel I was getting the hang of everything. Then by the time i was 21/22 I dropped out of the university course I was studying to busk full time in Melbourne and start my career with music. I haven’t looked back since.
Congratulations on the EP!
Be Slow navigates themes of love, heartbreak, moving on, different phases of life and time, and the influences pop culture has on our relationships. Could you tell us about the release and the themes explored throughout and what prompted you to explore them?
Thank you so much! It’s really crazy for me to look at this bunch of songs now as one collection and reflect on where I was and what I was going through when I wrote them. My songs are a mirror of where I’m at in my life and the last few years have been quite bumpy on the personal side of things. Lots of good and bad, growing out of old skin and settling into something that's more me. That has come with some bruises but I’ve learnt so much along the way. I’m really happy to release these songs now and put a chapter of my life to bed, I’m excited for what's to come.
The release documents a number of moments from your own personal life over the course of two years. Listening to these songs now, what are your thoughts on the tracks retrospectively?
The last two years have felt like this weird, slow and cumulative crashing together of everything I thought I knew about relationships, and myself really. That's quite vague I guess but there's just been so much re-learning of so many different aspects of my life, that it's all kind of a big blur to me still. And listening to these songs, and playing them live, I feel so different to where I was when I wrote them that it almost doesn't feel real. Sort of like another lifetime. I’m still processing everything but there is a real sense of closure that i'm sinking into. And I’m welcoming that with open arms.
Breathe Again was written in response to a poem you received. How did you find the experience of writing in direct response to another lyrical piece of art?
It’s something I never thought I’d find myself doing, but it made a lot of sense to do it that way and was almost the only way I could've done it. Sometimes you just can't put certain things into words and I feel like my response to that poem had to have the emotion of my voice and the music behind it to really have the impact I wanted it to have. That's why music is so powerful to me, it says so much in such a short amount of time.
There’s vivid imagery weaved throughout the EP’s lyricism to paint the picture of the stories told within the tracks. What are some of your favourite lyrics from the EP and why?
The chorus from the track With You is “With you, the world feels more alive”, and for me that song is such a turning point in my life and fills my heart with a crazy amount of joy. I’ve never really released a proper love song and damn it feels good to share that one :)
If you had to pick one song off the release to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which song would it be and why?
Probably Be Slow. A lot of how I move about in my day to day life is about taking a step back and really trying to look at things with a different perspective. Trying not to get caught in the rush of life. The sentiment of that song coupled with the sonics is something that encapsulates a lot of how I view myself as an artist.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from Be Slow?
The importance of taking the time to step out of your auto pilot mode and see where you’re at in life. And that it's okay to do that. I feel like there's so much pressure on us all the time to achieve, succeed and “be productive”, that we forget the proper stuff that is worth living for.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?
I usually write to release something I’m feeling or to try and understand a particular emotion. The process is a strange mixture of method and mystery. Method in that I’ll sit down with my guitar and just play until a chord progression or melody comes out and then record that into my iPhone voice memos. And mystery in that I’ll never know whats going to come out. I’ll try to get a fully formed song finished with just myself and my guitar before i begin making a demo of it before we take it into the studio to record.
Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?
I’ve found it a really interesting time to be creative over the past 6 months. There's been a different sort of investigation of my relationship with my creativity that I wasn't expecting. A kind of re-evaluating why I want to make art and how i want to do it as well. I’m just more honest with myself I guess.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
There's some amazing musicians and songwriters working away here in Australia. I love Jack the Fox, Hayden Calnin, Portair, Gretta Ray and Alana Wilkinson. They’re artists who make music that is really honest and captivating. Check them out!
The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans?Â
Me and my team are constantly re-assessing the state of touring and what it will look like once it's allowed. Hopefully we can get back overseas and into the touring circuit in the second half of next year. Fingers crossed. I’ve really missed travelling and meeting people through shows. But I’m looking forward to some Australian shows we have booked in for April in 2021.
What can audiences expect from one of your live show?
I put as much of myself as I can into each show, which is something I’ve learnt so much about by touring with amazing artists over the years. I try to be as honest as I can when i perform and bring a real warmth to the people who come and see me play.
Biggest influences? Ben Howard - incredibly deep songwriter.
Album that has had the most impact on you? City and Colour - Little Hell.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words? Raw, Emotional, Calm
Best song of 2020?
Chartreuse - Enemies Belly.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Top Gun, but make it all sad folk music haha
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus? Miley Cyrus!!! Party in the USA!
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed? My very first show I ever put on in Melbourne in 2015. It blew my mind people would come to see me perform.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip? Gregory Alan Isakov - Evening Machine.
Best concert you have been to? Bon Iver - Sydney Myer Music bowl.
Last concert you went to? Dermot Kennedy.
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure? Miley Cyrus :)
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry. I’m not to sure :(
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now? Make music for yourself and yourself only!
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician? When I was washing dishes for money when i was 19 :)Â