With a genuine combination of American soul and an upbeat pop-rock style, Harmonay has emerged as impressive artists to me from the New York area. I get the impression a singer-songwriter like Harmonay probably composes in an eclectic style borrowing from blues/folk/Americana music, combined with a college/rock/pop aesthetic. His lyrics share a passionate yet self-depreciating sensibility. He probably writes of the mundane and the complex, admits to what he doesn’t understand and questions what he already knows in the spirit of Paul Simon at his most folk-rockingest”
Enter his latest work “Somewhere over the Hudson” is to say the least an under the radar, humble A 21st century pop masterpiece. Music of Harmonay reminds me of Phil Spector producing a young Leonard Cohen. I can also hear David Gray, Soul Asylum, Matt Nathanson, Train, Whiskeytown, Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle. This – his latest work was released in 2015 and consists of 10 timeless gems in total.
Track 1 “Colors” sets the stage well for a consistent and uplifting musical journey. With this album, expect soul-stirring harmonies and at times hypnotic folksy style instrumentation laced with inviting folksy style fretwork. Straight away it’s clear to me these 10 tracks are an imaginative return to humour-laced song writing fused with the better musical touches of today pop, all with the eccentricity of singer/songwriter-indie-rock. Today’s music has many people feeling of bit of soullessness – how appropriate I get a CD by an artist like Harmonay that was a real shock to the system – in a good way. The album hits solid stride by track 3 dishing out amazing tack by amazing track. “Currents” and “We Are Two” are two brilliant exercises in self reflection laden with hooky vibe and impressive vocal delivery from Harmonay that transfers well into your own world. Harmonay has a large amount of soul. The only surprise is some of these pieces weren’t handpicked as singles for Radio airplay, as many are radio friendly of the highest order. ‘Rocks at Your Feet” follows and is a pleasant journey through a Pop-Passion play of Harmonay’s psyche. ‘This Train” could have been featured in a made for TV Movie or Film showcasing Harmonay and his band as a moving and grooving unit with superb out chorus.
In the end Leo Harmonay is a real breath of fresh air compared to what’s out there right now. Like I had mentioned earlier “Somewhere Over the Hudson” is a real shock to everyday musical system presently in place. Out of the whole album, 7 songs are in the category of brilliant, 3 of them are good, and none I’d find myself wanting to skip in rotation.
It’s safe to say we remember the ‘great” artist’s long after the song has played on the radio. Leo Harmonay is one of the best under the radar artists I’ve heard this year because he makes such a strong and lasting impression with his music. Why – because every word is for real. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hannah’s popularity continue to grow as it did in my own household during the week.