harley alexander’s retreat from halifax to a remote cabin in quebec has yielded harland, an eight-song collection of woozy, wandering bedroom pop that’s due out next friday via sports day records. framing the album’s aesthetic is “staring at photographs,” its breezy, clave-like chord progression bolstered by saturday-afternoon guitar noodling and alexander’s surprisingly commanding voice, flipping between his natural register and a reedy falsetto with incredible ease and immediacy.
“staring at photographs,” like much of harland, recalls a home recording taped off of a transistor radio: warm and unassuming, its edges carefully smoothed and rounded. alexander’s awareness of such a nostalgic manipulation extends into his lyrics, as he comes to grips with the fact that an idyllic snapshot from the past often belies the true nature of a present-day relationship. it’s an uncomfortable reality housed in a comforting vessel, a gentle hand that guides towards realization. take a listen to “staring at photographs” below.