Advertisement

Album Review: Har-di-Har – Hard Parent/Thick Child EP


Har-di-Har

Har-di-Har

Hard Parent/Thick Child EP
hardihar.com

In the laundry, shorts and t-shirts remind me that summer is over. After a brief mourning for the lost season, I banish them to wash not to be seen again until next spring. After much resistance, I resolve to switch the thermostat to “heat” as if it was the last defense of the impending colder weather.

“Rain makes me wet/won’t you fall on me, fall on me, fall on me, fall on me.”

This chant echoes in my head—an unplanned soundtrack as rain and leaves fall to the ground outside my window. This chant is from “Once Branches” off the husband and wife duo Har-di-Har’s third EP titled Hard Parent/Thick Child.

During the time since their last pair of EPs in 2012, Har-di-Har has toured incessantly, giving new polish and confidence to their songwriting and performance. On the new EP, the pair once again brings their hair-raisingly stunning vocal arrangements—on par with the vocal harmonies of bands like Fleet Foxes. These harmonies are incorporated into a maturing selection of tonality and dynamicity. “We’ve Been Missing,” for example, has such dramatic swings in tempo and mood that it could be considered to have distinct musical movements.

The songs also show a maturing in production. It’s easy allow myself to be surrounded by their rich wall-of-sound arrangements. I can see the Stereolab influence in “Move Over Forward”—if Stereolab hadn’t concerned themselves with the bleeps and bloops of analog synths and relied only on drums, piano and guitars.

Har-di-Har is the band that I declared my 12th-hour dark horse contender of favorite releases for 2012 and Hard Parent/Thick Child is an easy pick for top releases of 2013. I find its bright, tightly woven percussion and warm vocal harmonies a relief from the cooler and more melancholy weather to come.

Michael Roeder is a self-proclaimed “music savant.” When he’s not writing for Little Village he blogs at www.playbsides.com


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.

BECOME A SUPPORTER:

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.