Delicious Commentary with Nashville Based Americana/Folk Duo, The Harmaleighs [Interview]

The Harmaleighs

1. How did the Harmaleighs come to fruition?

We met through a mutual friend at school. We first started playing music together in the winter of 2012 with a six-piece group. We ended up stripping it down to just a few of us, which turned into The Harmaleighs.

2. Tell me about the name.

Haley+Kaylee+Harmony= Harmaleighs

3. Tell me about your writing process. Where do you get your inspiration?

Haley: I get my inspiration through my own experiences. And when those aren’t exciting enough (ha!) I listen to music and get inspired. Some artists that inspire me on the daily are Brandi Carlile, Andrew Bird, & Norah Jones.

4. What is it like living in Nashville and how does it inspire your music?

Living in Nashville is like being the teeniest, tiniest feeder fish in the deepest, darkest ocean. Everyone writes/plays/sings and everyone does everything really well. It’s actually strange to talk to someone that isn’t in a band or doing something else cool. This immensely inspires our music. We listen to peers around us who are at the same level that have AMAZING songs and that really pushes us to write the best material that we possibly can.

5. Are you an independent artist or do you have label support?

We are like the ‘Al La Carte’ at a Mexican restaurant. We get some help from friends & family but we do everything ourselves.

6. What is it like being an artist in 2014 with the industry in the state that it’s in?

Hard. Labels aren’t signing artists. So if you’re really in it to win it you need to learn how to play the game. In the past year and a half we have learned how to promote a band, book shows, monitor our image, build a website, design tee shirts, & of course make the music. It can be difficult at times because you have to wear so many different hats- however we think that a band that knows more about the business side of things will be better in the long run.

7. You released ‘People Line Up’ in 2013. Talk a bit about that process and where it’s taken you in your career.

Well, that has a funny story. We knew a guy who could get us into a studio with an engineer, for free, for about 10 hours. So we said ‘Okay, let’s record an EP in that time real quick.’ (it normally takes A LOT longer). So we went in with the 5 songs picked out already & met our engineer, Paul Rossetti. Paul has ended up helping us with numerous projects, became a super fan, and has played some shows with us! ANYWAYS, we recorded that EP as a quick introduction to the band. We wanted to get some music out. After we recorded that, we got to do some touring & got some ears of industry professionals listening. ‘People Line Up’ was a good start and we are happy its out. However, ‘Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush’ will be our true introduction.

8. ‘Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush’ is slated for an early 2015 release. Tell me about the process of making your first record?

We were in a showcase through our school (Belmont University) and one of the judges was Travis Terrell. We ended up getting coffee with him afterwards and he told us that he was a producer & has a company with his buddy, Micah Sannan, called ‘Levelo.’ All of our personalities just clicked and Kaylee & I knew we wanted to work with them right away. The whole process took about 4 weeks time. We spent a week tracking the record. That means just the bare bones: voices/gtr/banjo/mando/bass. Then we spent a few more weeks adding ‘fairy dust’ which means the music you may not hear on the first listen. It’s a soft pedal steel in the back or the bells in our track ‘Doll Made Of Glass.’ Travis & Micah brought our songs & music to life. They pushed us to think critically and encouraged us to work harder. We feel that we have truly found our sound with this record, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.

9. How did “Delicious Commentary” come about?

Kaylee & I were trying to think of fun ways to do a commentary about each song to get everyone excited. Kaylee then, the little chef that she is, came up with the idea to pair a recipe with each song. In order, the songs are going to lay out a full 10 course meal!

10. What’s your favorite kind of food?

Kaylee: My favorite type of food is Italian, specifically spaghetti and meatballs. I grew up in an Italian family and nothing was better than coming home from school and smelling my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce. I try to recreate it myself and it’s really good, but it will never compare to my mom’s.

Haley: My favorite food is Green Olives. When I was little my mom would let me eat 8 a day after dinner. If I didn’t have a limit I would eat the whole jar & drink the juice. Ovbi we’re lyke really healthy.

11. Who’s the best cook in the group?

Kaylee for sure. Before Kaylee and I moved in together I had the diet of a 5 year old. I would eat dino nuggets & Mac and cheese. Kaylee surprises me with her cooking everyday.

12. What’s your worst recipe fail?

Kaylee: A few years back, Haley & I found something on the internet and decided to try it. A Fruit cleanse. We were to eat nothing but fruit for 24 hours. I was trying to come up with unique recipes to make the cleanse a little easier on us. I came up with a Thai fruit roll. Haley will never let me live this down, as it’s been 3 years and she still brings it up. It was the worst, soggiest, nastiest thing I have ever put it my mouth.

Haley: Typically, everything I make tops itself as the worst recipe fail. Even simple things. I think the government actually put a restraining order on me & any kitchen ever to be built.

13. Do you have any other delicious pairings in the works and what can we look forward to in 2015?

We will be releasing a recipe for each song! (10 songs). Nearly every week from here on out you can be looking forward to that. Just wait until our main dishes!

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Song of the Day: Selah Sue “This World”

Last week in place of a typical Friday Song of the Day post I featured my interview with Wind-Up Records artist Jillette Johnson. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out, she is a refreshing new talent and a killer songwriter.

For all of my long time readers you might (faintly) remember Song of the Day version 1, MyTunes!. In early 2010 I featured a young Belgian artist that immediately blew me away with one listen. Blending soul with a touch of reggae her debut album is a non-stop listen from track 1 to 13. She’s talented, she’s beautiful, she’s Selah Sue.

Happy Listening!

This World!

Image Source: Rock Werchter
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