John Harvey has lived in Central Oregon for 10 years and has been playing music longer than that. Even with his years of being in bands (The Django Band duo, Jupiter and Teardrop) and knowing his way around an instrument or two, there are still things Harvey wants to accomplish. One was to release a solo project—which as of this past Friday, can now officially be crossed off the list.
Titled "Second Chances," Harvey's debut EP holds five songs that hit the ears with moments of indie pop, folk and alt-country, making for a warm blend of genres. Even with a variety of tempos cast throughout the project, the overall vibe of the EP feels sunny—even on tracks like "Someday," where Harvey slows things down and sings from the perspective of someone lost in a love daze. The cover even showcases some of last year's sunflowers out at Harvey's house; a perfect touch.
- Courtesy John Harvey
- Good vibes are in abundance on Harvey's debut EP.
You can hear Harvey having so much fun as he experimented in the studio. Even the instruments sound playful, on the title track, guitar and piano go back and forth with each other like they're playing tag in the park.
What started last September with Harvey pushing himself to try new things has turned into an experience he won't forget. And while the EP is out, he tells me now that "the real work begins." From marketing, to working on his second EP (a few demos are already in progress), and maybe even hitting the open mic circuit.
Read our Q&A with Harvey below to learn more about "Second Chances."
Source Weekly: You've been playing music for a long time now, but this is your debut solo project. How does it feel to have that out?
John Harvey: Friday when it came out, I was just so high from the fact that it was out—like, 'I did this!' It was just really cool. I'm just really proud of myself. I wrote, recorded, performed, and mixed it [the album]. I had never done that before. The discovery within the studio itself was a fantastic journey.
SW: Your press release says, "Someday" was inspired by the movie "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love," (a documentary about Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen). What drew you to that film and what about it inspired the song?
JH: One, I've been a fan of Leonard Cohen—not that I'm like playing his music right now, but I've been a musician for a long time so I know about his work. Then, I belong to some online song circles, and we'll write and give each other feedback. I had a line I was working on that says "I imagine you all alone, for me it's easier that way." And the feedback I got was that it was a killer kickoff line. That really set the tone for like, the feeling of longing. That song actually went through 10 rewrites or something. I kept the essence of that feeling—-that Marianne and he are lovers and he's gone, but she still loves him. And he loves her too, but she's waiting. I feel like either you can think she's being super romantic and hopeful, or you think she's being in denial. I kind of leave that up to the listener.
SW: Are you planning on doing any live shows this summer?
JH: I'm looking forward to seeing some live shows [laughs]. The Commons is open again for open mic and I always find those really valuable. They are great for feedback. I would see myself bringing some of these songs out and trying to reconnect with that community, but not like booking a gig or anything just yet.
SW: Is there a song on the EP you're particularly proud of?
JH: I really like "My Love." My friend said it had a Pink Floyd vibe, which is exactly what it does. It's super fun to play and has a lot of guitar. You'll hear the guitar in there, and it might sound processed, but it's actually my tremolo. Then I'd stack that and layer that and play around with it. It's just got a really cool vibe to it.
Find "Second Chances" on all digital streaming platforms.