Loneliest Generation is the debut record from Harper Blynn, a Brooklyn, NY-based based four piece named for its two principle songwriters, Pete Harper and J. Blynn.
Set for release May 11, 2010, the album is on baby jackal records, formed by the band and Arthur Mann (the co-founder of Rykodisc).
Produced by David Kahne (The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Paul McCartney), this is a stunning first album that presents a young band with a timeless sound that melds dead-on, glorious four-part harmonies with a finely honed sense of songcraft. It's an album about something, as the title suggests.
Both aged 25, Harper and Blynn's songs, as in the title track, are from the point of view of a post-jaded generation, a generation that is looking to find something worth believing in. It's not overly earnest but it's not simply art for art's sake either; Harper and Blynn are not afraid to say something, to have a point of view and to deliver it with a sophisticated pop sheen.
Loneliest Generation finds Harper and Blynn unapologetically hopeful and unafraid to challenge detachment and disillusionment. Writing songs that prove it is possible to be both modern and timeless, the band prompted The Chicagoist to write that "they fulfill all of your hipstery band-approval needs... but they never come across as trying to prove that they belong in the fickle world of indie rock. They don't have to, chiefly because their brand of polished, thoughtful pop will never go out of style."
The album was recorded over 10 days in New York City and represents the band's knack for writing catchy, hook-filled tunes with an impressive live show.
Featuring drummer Sarab Singh and a Dutch bass player who goes by the name "Whynot," the group's seemingly effortless four-part harmonies and dead-on live shows have a confidence and rock-solid feel that's impressive for a band releasing their debut.
Paste Magazine listed Harper Blynn as their #1 find at CMJ 2009, saying, "despite their Brooklyn address and hipster credentials, there's nothing remotely indie rock about the band-the harmonies recall Simon & Garfunkel, and the melodies would make Elvis Costello proud."
The New York Post chose the quartet as one of six "Ready to Pop" acts selected for 2010 and influential tastemaker radio station WXPN invited them on their blog as guest editors - the guys' droll observations of music and pop culture proved to be as entertaining as their music.
Both Harper and Blynn play guitar, with Harper switching off on keyboards on some numbers, such as soulful "Centrifugal Motion" and "Steal Your Love." The album opens with "25 Years," a reflection on life that raises doubts about direction and making choices that mean something, with its lingering refrain "25 years and nothing to show."
Wrote the blog Dirty Rat Bastard, "'25 years' combines the pop aesthetics of an upbeat Billy Bragg song with the synth melody reminiscent of MGMT's 'Time to Pretend' (and you know how catchy that is)."
"The Doubt" starts with a deceptively minimal arrangement, allowing the emotional lyrics and unadorned vocal performance to draw the listener in as the song builds to a powerful, gorgeously layered ending.
Harper Blynn's songs seem instantly familiar, but you realize that you're hearing an original new voice that just sounds right; everything just works.
Catch the band at SXSW 2010 and stay tuned for national tour dates to be announced soon!
Harper Blynn on amazon.com
Harper Blynn tour dates:
(Dates and information subject to change.)
SAT, Feb 20 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge, 8:00P (w/ Wakey! Wakey!)
MON, Mar 8 New York, NY @ The Living Room WFUV "On Your Radar" show, 8:00P
THU, Mar 11 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
FRI, Mar 12 Chicago, IL @ Schuba's, 9:00P (w/ Pretty Good Dance Moves)
TUE – SAT, Mar 16 – 20 Austin, TX @ South By Southwest (full schedule tba soon)
TUE, Mar 23 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn, 8:00P
THU, Mar 25 Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse, 8:00P
FRI, Mar 26 Easton, MD @ Night Cat, 8:00P
SAT, Mar 27 Washington, DC @ DC9, 8:00P
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