Harkin - 'Harkin'

8/10

Over the last few years, the life of Kate Harkin has been a diverse and exciting one to say the least. Since her formative outfit Sky Larkin have been absent from the new music scene for the last seven years, she has filled her time as a touring musician, regularly providing live services for the likes of Sleater-Kinney and Courtney Barnett. But all that working in the shadows has clearly given her the push she needed to get back into the spotlight once again as she returns with her first solo album 'Harkin', a grunge-filled juggernaut that looks to cement her as one of this country's most vibrant new acts.

While Sky Larkin's sound was always fixed very firmly in the traditional alt-rock sound throughout its tenure, there is a breadth of diversity on this new collection that shows the frontwoman has been busy trying new ideas in recent times. Rather than keep the direction peddling the same old weathered sound once again, Harkin looks to broaden her musical horizons with a wealth of progressive and euphoric offerings that bring out the tenderness in her songwriting. Much like The War On Drugs and The Joy Formidable, this new record has a simplicity in its beauty that while the music may not be the most technical, it manages to grow and absorb your attention throughout.

While we would like to say that working with these worldwide stars has clearly had an affect on her, it never seems that that is the case as this new record shows us something far different from those she has toured with recently. 'Harkin' has this bold and vibrant feel that we rarely get to hear in the mainstream, and it is that core identity that makes this record such a captivating listen.

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