Drew Harris takes the minimalist route with this latest project, and what a joy to make your way through. There’s a method to the delicacy that rains down around you as this album plays. The resulting experience is one that will be unique to each listener, but the sound of the rain, the softness of the notes, the implied intimacy and isolation; it leads you somewhere deeply thoughtful and reflective – whoever you are, and wherever you may be.
A Not So Honest Beginning and Is It Really The Thought That Counts? flow through as if inherently connected to one another. The lengthy titles provoke a certain level of thinking, a direction for the journey, but the simplicity of the music leaves the moment purely in the hands of the listener. After this, the switch from guitar to piano for Stuck In A Moment marks a change from peacefulness to something a little more haunting – a dissonant loop that surrounds you; beautifully underlining the sensation of being stuck in a moment.
There are seventeen tracks on this project but the majority are less than two minutes long. Compositions like Tomorrow offer a fitting minimalism alongside a dash of joy and optimism. The rise and fall feels like waves crashing or the in and out of a breathing chest. The shortness of each piece means that the journey in full is where the true depth and value lies. Not until you’ve let the music rain down on you in full – which it does, the sound of rain is consistent – not until then does it really release you from the fast pace of modern life and let you realise the stillness of being.
Within each track, Harris cleverly encapsulates the essence of the title or central idea. Uncertainty feels rightfully uncertain, Untold Truths feels like a secret being stumbled upon, or a built-up pressure. What Now? lingers somewhere between the pondering of Pink Floyd and the vast silence of Portishead. Deep Breaths acts perfectly as the freshness and release you’ve been waiting for. And none of this is complex, it’s just finely crafted detail within a smoothly drawn quietness.
Take Your Time is a personal favorite, perhaps for its use of contrast between the bass notes and those that fly a little higher. As stated though, the real experience is when you let the album in full fill the room. There are so many moments of emotional evolution – it’s down to you how you receive and react to it all. What Goes Around offers a moment of hope and colour for me, a joyful loop when compared to what surrounds it.
I almost feel as if Drew Harris could venture a little deeper into a single composition, making one track feel like a cinematic journey through thought and feeling. But, on the other hand – that’s precisely what Memoirs is. There are steps to be taken, these are scenes in a story-line, and all of it is relevant to the artist’s state of mind and his intentions when creating.
I Already Checked For Monsters is another personal highlight, perhaps for the nostalgia offered in the title – and the subsequent laid-back energy of the melody. The whole thing is calming, as it should be.
There’s a distinctive level of artistry to Drew Harris’ work, as if he has to create – these aren’t merely tracks to draw a crowd, these are compositions he had to get out of his system. For this reason they connect on a deeply human level.
Towards the end of the journey, The Earth Stood Still feels like a stunning, honest and meandering composition – perhaps the most melodic of all. It’ll Be Okay afterwards offers a blissful moment of acceptance and peace. Then Time To Go finishes the process with a dash of melancholy. As the longest composition on the project, this piece hits with weight – there’s a subtle poignancy to its gradually increasing sadness and space. There’s even a sluggish, unwilling aura about the notes chosen within.
Listen when you have the time free. Let the album in full play out at volume – let the spaciousness and the expression connect with your inner psyche; the meditative state of mind that loves to revel in and consider the world in great detail.