Harper at the Scotch of St JamesCultureMusicLive music
Harper reveals a few new tracks at the legendary Scotch of St James in anticipation of her new EP, Blood Sweat Tears, which drops next week.
There isn’t much buzz concerning Harper as the audience waits for her to take the stage, but once the lights dim and she starts with the agonised tune Animal, everyone is listening intently (although it would be rude to do otherwise given the tight quarters). She plays a short 20-minute set of five songs, however, it’s enough to give a comprehensive taste of her music: mainly brooding, angst-ridden songs propped up by palpable R&B and pop influences.
Clad in her poorly styled performance attire of a crop-top and gaucho trousers, the Bristol-born songstress appears to have not yet had the experience to develop a commanding stage personality. She is stoic throughout her 20 minutes in the limelight, all the better to match the moodiness of her music. Backed by a man on electric guitar, it’s curious how so many solo acts don’t bother to acknowledge their support unless they make it big. Harper is no exception.
There is no doubt that the singer has a strong voice, and no one would blame her for using that squeaky, whiny part of her range that is so common in pop music. However, her songwriting ability is rather basic, from the vapid, thoughtless lyrics to the sometimes cumbersome, weighty arrangements. The latest single, Blood Sweat Tears, benefits from a live version void of over-produced beats, compared to its recorded counterpart.
Harper is probably best described as a cross between a more talented Lana Del Rey and a less fun Lorde, ideal for those seeking affirmatory break-up music.
Photos: Sophie Bluestone
For further information about Harper and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Blood Sweat Tears here: