ALBUM REVIEW: “HIRAETH” EP by THE HARMALEIGHS

“There’s no place like home,” a quote with which we are all familiar, but what exactly is home? Nashville folk pop duo The Harmaleighs explore that question and more on their forthcoming EP, Hiraeth, set for release on May 5th.

Haley Grant and Kaylee Jasperson decided to get rid of their apartment, store their belongings, and go on tour for eight months; upon returning to Nashville several times during the tour, the pair realized that home didn’t really feel like home anymore—they questioned this idea of security and distilled that sense of longing into six stunning songs of exploration and reflection.

Opening track “Lady Brain,” inspired by chauvinism experienced on the road, is a tongue-in-cheek affair that is timely and poignant. “Mama says that girls play nice, but I was born with a bark and a bite; yes I know that boys will be boys, but I’m sick of this noise, ‘cause we all have a choice,” sings Grant, razor-sharp words which bite even harder when delivered with a delicate and angelic voice like hers. In “Birds Of A Feather,” the pair discuss the loss of a relationship; “I keep trying to fly away but you keep putting stones on my wings,” Grant and Jasperson sing, as their voices weave a gossamer musical web. The EP’s standout title track, named for a Welsh word meaning “to have a longing for a home that never existed, or a home that once existed that you can no longer return to,” perfectly captures the essence of their on-the-road experience.  “I’m a bit homesick for a place that doesn’t exist,” they sing, as their breathy harmonies cause goosebumps and spine tingles. Another standout, the album’s closing song, “Diamond Ring,” wistfully explores self-doubt and the sadness of comparison, “You shouldn’t buy me a diamond ring, I’ve got a missing puzzle piece; oh people like me can’t have nice things, we can’t seem to keep them clean,” they wistfully lament, again bringing life and dimension to Grant’s whip-smart lyrics.

So, what is home? Maybe it’s a question that has no real answer; however, in the wondering and the wandering, The Harmaleighs show us that while feeling unsettled is a challenge, it can inspire, and beauty can be the result.

Purchase Hiraeth: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hiraeth-ep/id1206002179

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