Harkness – “Lure Of The Pollen” – between the extremes of elegant indie-pop austerity, and full-on progressive rock bombast

Harkness is probably one of the most creative musicians around today. His output is consistently stunning, and his integration of organic instrumentation to construct, interpret and unfold his musical vision is part of his creative genius. Harkness always finds a way to clearly express what is on his mind and in his heart. And his latest single “Lure Of The Pollen” – the 3rd single from his upcoming debut album, “The Occasion” – is no different. The song was born after a chance meeting with a stranger on a bus, email addresses were exchanged and soon after magical moments bloomed, explained Harkness, discussing its concept.

“As I was riding my bike to meet her on that first date, a Butterfly flew towards me and I instinctively reached out and caught it while still pedaling,” elaborated the songwriter.  “When I finally reached her, and we came together to meet, I released the Butterfly between us, as we said Hello. You can guess at how the rest of the day went…” he concluded.

The music in “Lure Of The Pollen” moves through sonic worlds you may only have dreamed of. Subtle, complex, sonorous, achingly beautiful, and ultimately, uncompromising. It exists between the extremes of elegant indie-pop austerity, and full-on progressive rock bombast, weaving a spell that gets deep into what makes Harkness’ music the most sublime of sonic experiences you would have ever laid your ears on this year…or any other year for that matter.

“Lure Of The Pollen” is a richly layered work. It not only encourages repeated listening, it pretty much demands it, if you want to be fully rewarded. Apart from taking care of the vocals, Harkness plays the guitars, bass, piano and drums. He is also keen to certify that “all other instruments are real players, no samples or auto tune is used,” as you ears take in the luxurious sounds of tubas, bassoons, flutes and marimbas.

Harkness proves that it is possible to write interesting, intelligent, and legitimately progressive music within a structure of pop catchiness, and “Lure Of The Pollen” is an excellent example of it. For all its arranging, instrumental and vocal complexities, you can still nod your head, and sing along to the bounce of the rhythm and charm of the melody.

On “Lure Of The Pollen,” Harkness has constructed a similar musical mosaic, to what legendary progressive rock band, Yes, managed to achieve on their chart-storming 1983 album “90125”. They maintained all their defining elaborate instrumentation, and entangled arrangements, and then wrapped them inside the most captivatingly accessible tunes they could create.  This allowed listeners to peel away as much of the complexities as their ears would allow. If they wanted to.

Harkness achieves the same effect. Hence his music, and “Lure Of The Pollen,” in particular, does not exclude listeners, who may find forward-thinking music too complicated or pretentiousness. You can simply enjoy this song as is, or you can peel away the multiple layers, one by one, and appreciate its construction genius, from the bottom up.

Born in Toronto, Canada, to musical parents, Harkness started playing the piano at the age of 4, before discovering the guitar, and everything else he plays. Harkness is an enigmatic songwriter, singer and musician, focused on creating music, not hype. This in mind, his music exists in the present, strides towards the future, and can expand comfortably into any direction of time, without losing relevancy or prominence.


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