Harriet Rose - Love Me Like That / Small Town Chains
Just occasionally someone slips past the #TEAMw21 talent radar, which certainly happened with Harriet's rather fine debut "Small Town Chains", but with the assistance of one of subscribers we were alerted to her latest release "Love Me Like That" which is equally brilliant if totally different.
Opening with the gentlest of guitar intros, this immediately announces itself as something of a classic with its opening lines
"Sitting in another bar - waiting for it all to close
knowing that you're out with her and you're probably going to take her home"
It is attention grabbing and wastes no time in establishing the singers state of mind as she ponders if anything could have been done differently.
It all leads to a lovely mutli textured chorus that on first listen seems exceptionally wordy and yet everything is perfectly constructed and placed, even that repetition of the words "let me down".
"Why you got to love her like that? Why you got to treat her right?
Why you got to buy her flowers, take her up town, spin her round"
It leads to a rather sad question "Did you have to break my heart to have a good time?"
The second verse again sees Harriet pondering her options, torturing herself with the songwriting literally taking you into her internal monologue while the second chorus sees the song build with the arrival of a solid drum beat lifting it another level.
The final chorus when it comes is desperately plaintive - the first half just Harriet and an acoustic guitar is heartbreaking, with the second bringing the full band in and some well placed additional backing vocals.
Harriet's singing has the perfect degree of hurt and bewilderment about it that makes this song such a success because it is utterly believable. Across both singles there is such a wide range of thought and talent displayed that we cannot wait to see where Harriet will take us next.
If like us you only discovered Harriet via "Love Me Like That" then you need to make an immediate beeline for "Small Town Chains". For a debut single it is simply astounding, cleverly produced, housing lots of little inventive production ideas and delivered as a complete package with a band providing maximum backing with remarkably little instrumentation and a confident vocal delivery that steals the show.
From the clever guitar opening to the machine gun delivered speedy vocal, this song takes no prisoners!
"Grow up in small town always something going down
People need something to pass their time
Never have a secret never could you keep it
This place was built on a picket line
Oooo - I'm moving on up"
The image of small town life is a staple of country songs, yet this keeps the theme fresh and that use of the phrase "picket line" establishes it as being quintessentially British, there are no waffle houses or deer being shot here!!!
The second verse sees the arrival of a thumping back beat increasing the intensity even more and by the end of it the arrival of the full band including #TEAMw21 favourite Danny Smart sees the song burst into life.
When Harriet sings "These small town chains won't hold me back no more" there is such an oomph and power in the delivery that is not the sort of thing you expect on a debut single.
Ever inventive the third verse is the sneering voices of those left behind, afraid of the world outside progressing without them.
"She won't get far with that pipeline dream
Does she know who she is and where she came from?
You'll never feel like you belong "
With a final hint of defiance and confirmation that she is going to escape, comes the line
"These Small Town Chains are loose and on the floor"
Closing with the band rocking and rawkus, this is fantastic life affirming stuff.
So 2 slices of Harriet Rose, sharing common traits, both excellently produced, both excellently performed from someone who has a sharp eye on her lyrics and a keen ear for a melody and yet both decidedly different.