Bristol, UK, based band, Ålesund, release their latest single, Harry’s Song, today, and we’ve been taking a few listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
Harry’s Song is a positively euphoric and emotional track that just builds and builds and builds. Starting the song with single repeated notes on the piano and a warm fragile female vocal, you already feel that this song is going to be huge.
Harry’s Song is a song written in the wake of lead singer, Alba’s friend’s life threatening accident. Written about conversations and visits to the hospital it follows Alba’s panic and fear and confusion for her friend and their future. With the heightened emotions of this incident, Alba knew that the best way to process her feelings was to channel them into a song. And what a song!
As the song develops, other instruments are added and the rise and fall is managed specularly by the addition and removal of both instruments and percussion. With piano panned to the left and another keys instrument (vibraphone?) the song sweeps you along as the strings join the ensemble. The percussion builds and builds and the bass guitar, used as a solo instrument, builds some wonderful tension at around 4 minutes. After this, the strings follow the vocal line and also weave in and out of it. The drums continue to build into a fantastic electric guitar solo, by which time your emotions are just on the floor!
Towards the end of the track, the spectacular voice of Alba is used in a Pink Floyd-esque manner – almost as an instrument rather than a voice and the passion and delivery is outstanding.
Throughout the build to the end the drums get more and more exciting with some superb fills and display some ingenious creativity and flair.
For lovers of Clannad or All About Eve, this song will check all of your boxes. Alba’s voice is clear and controlled with some world class techniques within her arsenal and some rather exciting Eva Cassidy moments in the more powerful sections.
Dropping back to almost nothing for the last line, you feel as though you have been taken on an emotional journey with Ålesund. One which we were thrilled to repeat several times.
From a production perspective, a few adjustments in the top end would add some extra life to the track. A shelf boost across the top 3 octaves with an additional boost around 4kHz to increase the definition and presence in the vocal track. Adding a slight dip around 7kHz to avoid too much sibilance in the vocals. As always, this is just to our ears as the track was already absolutely beautiful.
Ålesund’s single, Harry’s Song, truly is an epic journey and an utterly charming work of art. We urge you to add it to your playlist.