Harriet’s story is one of female empowerment: from stunning a room of adults into silence with the songbird-clarity of her voice and overcoming bullying at school, to moving to London to risk everything to make it as a musician on her own terms. Her voice and her passion shine brighter than ever on her new album ‘The Outcome’, which is out now. Its release is accompanied by the release of the official video for her single Story of Your Life
The album’s first single ‘Story of Your Life’ has picked up a wave of support online and on radio, further supported by a recent performance on BBC Radio London’s Gaby Roslin show.
Harriet says, “I was very young when I made my first record. I put myself in a bit of a box with it and felt quite limited creatively. But with this new record, I’ve expressed parts of myself that I didn’t feel perhaps comfortable doing a few years back. There were some emotional writing sessions, quite tearful because they went to difficult places. ‘The Outcome’ is a bit more vulnerable, but in an empowering way.”
Ahead of a date at Cardiff’s Acapela studios, Harriet recently discussed her music inspirations with Andy Howells.
What was the first song that made an impact on you?
There are so many! But from an early age, I have always felt a connection to songs by artists from the 1970s like Carole King, Bread, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac etc… For example ‘Make It With You’ (Bread) reminds me of long journeys down to Cornwall when I was a little girl. We would have this and their other songs on repeat in the car. I love David Gates’ voice and songwriting and have always been drawn to the sensitivity in his lyrics. I’m heavily influenced by that warm, nostalgic sound. On my new album, the song ‘I Think Of You’ probably taps into this space musically the most, and I really wanted it to evoke the same feelings with it as all the music I love from that era.
What was the first single /download you bought?
It was most likely a CD single, from Woolworths. I miss that place! Mariah Carey’s ‘Butterfly’ probably… I can remember the cover art. What a time! I used to also buy a lot of vinyl from local charity shops and remember picking up Ella Fitzgerald 7” singles and records by Elvis and Tony Bennett. I have always had quite an eclectic taste in music. If there was a great song and a distinctive voice, I was into it. I was recently gifted a 7” single of The Best Is Yet To Come by Clifford T Ward. It’s a favourite of mine and he is such an underrated artist and songwriter.
What was the first album you owned?
A copy of Please Please Me by the Beatles that my dad gave me. I loved it. Their songs were so short and to the point at that time. They changed pop music forever. The first album I bought myself was most likely Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time”. I wanted to be her when I was a kid (like most kids at the time)! I actually wrote with Jörgen Elofsson on my new album who wrote ‘Sometimes’ and ‘(You Drive Me) Crazy’ on that record, which was a bit nuts! There was so much great music coming out in the late 90s/early 00s. I remember having Ricky Martin’s Sound Loaded album too. I had that on repeat on my little CD Walkman!
What’s your constant go to track?
Anything by ABBA at the moment. The combination of emotional melancholy and uplifting energy in their music is so unique. When the intro kicks in on Dancing Queen, it’s pure magic. I feel like I can do anything when that song comes on. I am so inspired by artists who are so confident to be different and don’t attempt to fit the mould of what anyone else is doing. ABBA are all about this. Also, one of my favourite songs of all time is A Song For You by Leon Russell. I love The Carpenters’ version and also Donny Hathaway’s. The lyric is so affecting and it really takes me to a deep place when I listen to it.
What’s your constant go to album?
Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves is definitely up there. It’s so visual and transporting. It’s a go-to for me when I want to escape ‘life’ for a bit! I would love to work with Daniel Tashian, who she wrote a lot of the record with, who also recently recorded an album with Burt Bacharach, another hero of mine. Life moves at such a pace these days and can be hard to find time to just sit and take in the moment. Albums like Golden Hour are so rare in this respect; they really capture a feeling and take us somewhere else. My favourite tracks are ‘Happy & Sad’ and ‘Slow Burn’. The songwriting is so simple, yet sophisticated, and the production has all these beautiful intricate layers. I love it.
Who’s your latest music discovery?
Stephen Sanchez. I’m obsessed with him. ‘Until I Found You’ is like a lost Elvis record and I was transfixed when I first heard it. I love how what he is doing is so different from anything else out there at the moment. And I love the romantic and nostalgic, retro sound he has. People have really connected with his music, which is so nice to see as it really takes you back to another time. It’s not chasing fashion or trends. It’s just great songwriting, well produced, and a wonderful voice. I’m excited to see what he does next!
What’s your own track that best defines you as an artist?
My new single, ‘Story Of Your Life’ encompasses everything I am at the moment I’d say… My new album has moments of vulnerability but is also empowering. I think this track has both of these sentiments. I learnt a lot about myself making ‘The Outcome’. I hope that people might learn something new about themselves too when they hear it. I hope it makes them feel good and know that they are not alone with whatever it is they are struggling with.
- Harriet’s new album ‘The Outcome’ is available now. She kicks off her spring 2023 UK tour at Shrewsbury Theatre Severn on June 1st and plays a live date at Cardiff Acapela on June 3rd – tickets for all shows available via Harriet’s official website