Up In The Air
Redeye/Hit The Deck Recordings
Bandwagonesque Songs From Northern Carolina.
Oooooh! What a glorious treat this album has been.
Growing up in a music mad house in the 60’s, it was no surprise that I was listening to the Beatles from a very early age. In fact the very first record I owned was the She Loves You 45 which I received for my 6th birthday.
While I don’t really listen to them now; half a century on; to some greater or lesser degree they’ve always been a benchmark for a lot of bands I’ve liked (and disliked) over the years; which brings me to Up In The Air by Brett Harris.
If Brett is too young to remember the Beatles; I’m pretty sure he’s listened to a lot of second and third generation exponents of their Mersey-Sound. Certainly on hearing opening track End of the Rope The Beatles circa Rubber Soul sprung to mind; then after a week or so my antenna became more fine tuned; and I’ve detected a lot more Teenage Fanclub, Crowded House and even a little bit of Oasis there too.
Just keep that in the back of your mind; because the luscious harmonies and twangy (Rickenbacker?) guitars are a joy to behold; and signify a real talent in Brett Harris.
The jaunty beat slows a touch for track #2 the bittersweet Don’t Look Back, which really shows what a good singer Harris is; and again the guitars come straight from the George Harrison play-book.
By the time you get to the halfway mark with the dreamy Out Of The Blue and High Times; you will realise there’s nothing else for it but to kick back and let the music take over. The later song is a bit deep and mysterious, but a perfect antidote to the up-tempo tracks that precede it.
Don’t think for one minute any of this is airy-fairy nonsense; Brett Harris has a remarkable way with words and story telling; and coupled with the delicate way that songs like Rumor and Shade Tree are constructed; it can only be a matter of time before the young singer-songwriter becomes a household name, outside the Rocking Magpie household.
The guitar playing on the title track Up In The Air is as sweet as a nut; and the way Harris delivers the song will force a smile on even the most miserable of my readers. It was a tough choice between that delightful song and Spanish Moss; which closes the record for the title of ‘favourite,’ but I think I’ll go for the atmospheric latter song. Perhaps it’s the brittle instrumentation; or the way the voices harmonise; or perhaps the way the pedal-steel is used so sparsely; or perhaps it’s just a bloody good song….who knows why we like things; but I like this song and this album a whole lot.
Released March 4th 2016