24 June 2013

Richmond, Melbourne

What You Want

‘Go, leave, stay.  Precious believe in me, it’s time to relax your mind and treat yourself to escape from your life.’- Dreamlands

When listening to Haarlo’s debut single Dreamlands you’ll find yourself escaping from your daily life, you’ll be whisked away with their hypnotic sound.

You may have heard whispers of Haarlo around the streets of Melbourne or beyond.  Perhaps through their track Easier, which was added to MS MR’s Track Addict Volume ll, even before it was released into the world.

With the combination of New Zealand born Stacey Gardiner’s vocals with Large Noises co-founder Jono Steer’s production and instrumentation – this is not just two separate individuals creating a band, this is a marriage of sounds and style, a perfect one at that.

I remember the day Stacey came to me and said, “I’ve been writing some songs, and not sure if I should do anything with them.”  My jaw dropped at that moment.  I had witnessed Stacey singing with several DJ’s in Melbourne, her vocals at times floaty, soulful and honey like, other times punchy and raw, her voice was something else.  For her to just be contemplating doing something with it left me shocked.  To me, she had to do something with her talent.

When Stacey and Jono started talking about working together, I witnessed a real excitement, they both had the same musical influences with love of funk, soul and electronica. A year later, Haarlo was born.  Witnessing their debut show at The Evelyn in Melbourne was memorable, Stacey was endearing and humble, Jono adding layers of textures to complement her voice, it was danceable yet spine tingling, heartfelt and fun.

I felt extremely proud! When listening to their debut EP Dreamlands, you follow the journey of the dream land in Stacey’s mind, it moves up and down in tempo, follows stories of relationships, family and love. It’s both shades of light and dark with moody electronic beats, soulful vocals with dark synths as well as organic instrumentation. Stylistically it gives a nod to the 90’s Massive Attack era as well as bridging the gap between Prince and Erykah Badu. Ultimately it carries a truly special voice.

Dreamlands, is the first of many, it’s just the beginning for a band that will create more unique, original music. Haarlo is a sound of it’s own, one that is distinctive and deserves your attention.  You can tell this is going to be the year for Haarlo.

You can listen to Dreamlands here and visit their website for all things Haarlo.

The Dreamlands EP launch will be held at The Northcote Social Club on 11 July 2013.  Tickets are available here.

Words by Eliza Hull.