Fronted by the genius of songwriter and producer, Tommy P stands at the helm of the immeasurably talented ensemble you may know as Harlow’s Monkeys. A chef-d’oeuvre of Tommy P, Harlow’s Monkeys celebrates the virtuoso of the San Francisco music scene, whilst simultaneously concocting a dulcet blend of elementary lyricism and ineffably emotive ambience.
Illuminating the inglenooks of the human condition, Tommy P’s lyrics have a candid sheen that every artist needs to achieve relatability, but what makes Tommy’s lyricism stand out against the rest is a twee homeliness that effuses a warming sense of optimism across his intricate melodies.
A perfect example of the optimism I’m referring to can be heard in Harlow’s Monkeys gorgeous, new single ‘You Don’t Have To Change If You Don’t Want To’. This lambent, indie-rock bijou left me with a smile on my face and I’m going to tell you just how Harlow’s Monkeys inspired such joy.
The introductory guitar riff invites the listener into its mirthful harmony with a sprightly drumbeat, exuding a contagious vivacity that swells with every passing note. The instrumentation acts as a mellifluent ascension into a springtide of youthful, congenial timbres; rising to a breath-taking cadence on the breeze of the charming piano.
This is the moment the vocals emerge and there could not have been a better-suited vocalist for this track. The vocalist creates such a sinuous polarity of smoothness and controlled frailty that mirrors the softness of the track’s heartbeat, and it is beautiful.
You need only hear the performance of the chorus: ‘You don’t have to change if you don’t want / But I / I wanna do better / And I / Wanna heal’ to not only believe the narrative, but also to follow along its trail. The cyclical pulses of the drumbeats allude to the never-ending journeys of self-improvement we go through in life and our innate passions for growth, a notion which is also bolstered by the gradually-increasing vigour of the vocal delivery.
And yet, there is a quirky counterbalance in the imperfections of that same vocal delivery; a gentleness which lets the listener know that it is okay to be the person you are right now, that even if you aren’t where you want to be currently, it doesn’t nullify your value. Now that is a message I can get behind.
Harlow’s Monkeys is a band that is known for their distinctly unique style and ways of captivating their listeners – their latest single is no exception, and I can’t recommend this track enough.
I’ll be keeping my ear out for this immensely talented bunch, that’s for sure.
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