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Friday, April 13, 2012

Jerrod Harlan - Hello Ontario EP review

Year : 2012
Genre : Synthpop with Atmospheric Shoegaze character
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Official site : > - here - <

Introductory information is taken from the artist's website :

"Hello Ontario is the music project of Pittsburgh’s Jerrod Harlan. Only 20 years old and Harlan’s already made a name for himself playing top venues throughout the Alleghenies, including Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Hello Ontario’s flavor of modern indie/electronic has been compared to the bands Of Montreal and The Postal Service.

Actually, you’ll hear a wide range of influences in Hello Ontario, including Foster The People, Breathe Electric, Tokyo Police Club, Death Cab For Cutie and even the legendary Buddy Holly. Quite a ride, considering Harlan first learned to play guitar when he broke his arm! What is a musician at heart to do, with an arm casted at 90 degrees? He also plays synthesizer, piano, bass, and does vocals. Harlan has a wanderlust for sharing his music far and wide and yet, he has an ace card of a solid musical education. He studied music theory and composition at the highly prestigious performance arts charter school, Lincoln Park Performing Arts. Hello Ontario has played to jam-packed audiences at coffee shops, festivals and charity concerts."

Read on to find out how the music sounds.

Jerrod Harlan offers his craft in a tasteful, relatively restrained, yet doubtless well focused musical language that mainly relies on an intimate rhetoric akin to an inner setting you'd have when sitting around on a rainy day behind a rainy window, wondering 1. if it's worth it to hit the road and claim the big city as your own Tony Montana style, or, 2. if the one you love will get back to you until nightfall.

Deeply peaceful - tautology? - and harmless music in character that exhibits a fine set of modal selections that constitutes the whole experience the whole EP sinks into you as. The name of the primordial game is synthpop with a soberly limited color- and instrument set, yet the language is almost exclusively used to breath life into the tame aspect of said genre without any concept of sonic intimidation. Harlan's music studies show through the sense of exigency he varies the simplistically elegant and elegantly simplistic ideas the EP is a fine collection of, while the icing on the cake, and, what immediately separates the delivery from outputs of similar ambitions, is Jerrod Harlan's vocal presence.

The singing is a quite special "bird" to be subjected to : ultra-soft and gentle to its mellow core, Harlan's delivery is genuinely female AND elegant without giving you the wrong ideas, and there really are no efficient words nor need for any substitutes for them to describe the experience the artist is able to induce in you once you are immersed into his craft. From that point on, it is up to you to form and amend your impressions, but, in case you were wondering, I have found the disc a greatly enjoyable one and an ideal selection to a rainy afternoon.

For booking info, email: hello.ontario@gmail.com

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