THE MYSTERIOUS, cloaked and visored figure you see is Harkness; as with Bob Log III, we know not who sits behind the guise.
Best then to turn to what we do know; that he comes from Canada (or indeed, beyond), bearing a very special brand of baroque psychedelia, shifting through the moods and time signatures with an off-kilter aesthetic, an approach to melody that seems to splice S.F. Sorrow-era Pretty Things with Jellyfish, some of the grandeur of Moondog, the weird vision of Bobby Brown’s The Enlightening Beam Of Axonda (and there’s an album which defies easy categorisation while being an absolute gem).
You can take your first steps into the world that Harkness has painstakingly created for you below, with the title track of his forthcoming album, The Occasion. It’s quite the trip, utterly melodic, grand, endlessly morphing; the ‘explosion’ at the beginning is the sound of a piano dropping and an acoustic guitar being thrown at a piano harp.
Why the get-up – the visor and gown? Harkness says it results from a profound and life-changing experience in his twenties, during which he “was shown what appeared to be the blissful advantages of leading an imageless life.”
But now is the time for him to bring his music to the world. “I hope that while listening to these songs people at once feel the urgency and desperation of our time, but are inspired and emotionally moved enough to take steps in their own life to help improve our collective world,” he says.
When asked “why now?” he explains: “After writing and recording for a long time I was finally able to really tap into the very core of my being. Throughout the recording process I have had to overcome many personal struggles, and as the world today appears to have incredible challenges ahead, I feel the time is right for the spirit of this music.”
Harkness’ The Occasion will be released digitally and on vinyl by Windchild Records on August 13th; connect with Harkness on Instagram.