Same old same old brilliance

Harmann has been making music for some time, both under his own name and that of the Trouble Starts (which started out as something of a band and ended up more along the lines of a solo project, if my memory serves correctly). The sound is (generally) moody indie pop. Affected vocals, discarded backbeats, noodly keyboards--the whole shebang.

Daniel G. Harmann
White Mountains

What has always amazed me about Harmann is how well the music works. There is absolutely nothing remarkable about his architecture or production. This is simple music presented simply. But there's something in Harmann's writing and delivery that makes it irresistible.

After all this time, of course, it's apparent that he's extraordinarily talented. Music this good and accessible is hard to create. And Harmann has done it over and over again. If you just listen to a couple of songs, you might think "This is catchy, but I've heard something like it before." Go a few more songs, and the thinking is more like "I'm pretty sure I've heard something like this before, but I really need to hear a few more songs." Before long, you get to "I don't care if I've heard something like this before. This is great!"

Harmann's aural deja vu effect is pretty cool. The first few notes establish an intimate comfort level, and that only increases as the album move along. These largely unadorned songs charm in different ways, but they're tied expertly to the whole.

As with every Harmann album I've heard, it took me a few minutes to explain why I liked it so much. Sometimes the most obvious things have to hit you in the face a few times to get your attention. Harmann is one of the best in the business. Just because your music is unpretentious doesn't mean it can't be brilliant.

Jon Worley

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