You may feel that Harp sound a little familiar as you listen to today’s track choice – and you’d be right to feel that way. Harp is the new musical project of former Midlake singer Tim Smith recording with his wife Kathi Zung. ‘Throne of Amber’ is the third single taken from the much anticipated debut album ‘Albion‘ which is out December 1st on Bella Union. It’s a song that is full of Smith’s English folk influenced poetry, with a haunting chorus that draws inspiration from William Blake: “Bring me an axe / Bring me a spade/ Bring me a winding sheet / for my grave.” The song also features Tim Smith’s former Midlake bandmate Paul Alexander on bass guitar.
Speaking of the song Smith has said : “It’s about struggling through very hard times. The chorus lyrics are paraphrased from William Blake, which to me describe coming close to giving up and being done with it all.” That may well be, but it’s also a song that burrows itself into the memory from the first listen and just grows with each replaying. It is Midlake-y, and it also isn’t and that really comes from Tim Smith finding a new source of inspiration. He had been working for years on a set of new tracks for his debut album but he set them aside and began again, as he explains: “Along came ‘80s music. I knew of bands and I had heard the odd song, but I had never dug deep into Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, Tears For Fears before. The major album for me though was The Cure’s ‘Faith’, which I listened to non-stop for three years. That music really resonated with me, so I was led in a different direction, which took a long time to figure out, because I was on my own, learning how to record better, mix better, write better.”