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“Defibrillator” – Harkness

Harkness is the new voice of traditional pop music. 
The days of pop music like The Beatles or The Monkees is long gone, and traditional pop has reared its beautiful, flowery face on only rare occasion since then. The soaring harmonies and feel good melodies of pop are meant to transport the listener to a happy place. The great pop songs will lift your spirit no matter what might be weighing it down. This is Harkness.

Harkness is a Canadian musician that procures his pop in small but potent doses. The first single I covered from Harkness (“I.D.”) was a patient and steady psychedelic pop song that ran for just under three minutes, with an uplifting chorus and some nice harmonies. All the great pop songs of yesteryear were under three minutes, weren’t they? “I.D.” served as a promising introduction to Harkness and a glimpse of what may lie ahead in his songwriting arsenal. 

This latest single, “Defibrillator,” is even more impressive with its melody and harmonies. The song begins with a Beach Boys-like multi-part harmony that runs through the song, giving it its slow and dreamy theme and spirit. The addition of some brass and orchestration just drives the brilliance of the melody to a place of pure pop elation. With that said, there are a couple of things that are uncomfortable for me with this song.  

The song clocks in at just over two minutes, an act of brevity that almost makes it seem like only the beginning of a brilliant composition. The song is pure bliss for the first 90 seconds before it starts to issue its climactic end. And it’s this “climactic end” that is the other point of discomfort for me. The song’s vocal track, which is the driving force here, suddenly drops in volume and is matched or even overpowered by a noisy, rambunctious clattering of percussion. I don’t necessarily mind this attacking wall of sound to finish the song; but when it arrives in this arrangement, I don’t feel as if the song has taken full flight yet.

But let’s get realistic….
I felt like I was dragged out of this song too early because I wanted to spend my day in the happy place that was created here. Harkness is one of the best things pop has seen since Jellyfish in the early 90’s. “Defibrillator” shows off gorgeous vocal harmonies, a wonderful orchestral arrangement, and an exceptional mastery of melody. 
The world needs a happy place. 
The world needs more Harkness.

“Defibrillator” is the second single from the upcoming Harkness debut album, The Occasion.

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