Harkin is sharing new single “Dial It In“, taken from her debut self-titled album, which is set for release April 24th via Hand Mirror.
Speaking about the track, Harkin said “‘Dial It In’ is a song about valuing intuition over entitlement. It’s a track that I started writing in my best friend Ashley Connor’s New York apartment. I had planned to visit her but she got a job working on a film out of state, so instead, I inhabited her life for a week. I’d aimed to wander NY in a romantic solo montage, but a particularly frigid storm hit and I was stuck inside for the duration of my visit. Which turned out to be the push I need to start writing this album.
I had played live with Jenn Wasner on tour, opening for her Flock of Dimes project. We got in the studio with Stella (Warpaint, Mozgawa). It was the first time they’d met and by the end of the day, they were finishing each other’s jokes. The basic live track we ended up using was the first take. All pretty fitting given the inspiration of the song.”
‘Harkin‘ will be released on Hand Mirror, with publishing support from Rough Trade Publishing. Harkin and her partner, the poet and live arts organiser Kate Leah Hewett, founded Hand Mirror in 2019. The record is the first full length album to be released on Hand Mirror, and the organisation also will also have literary publications, compilations and live events in both the US and the UK in the pipeline. In addition to sharing the new single, today they shared an update on the plans for the label.
“For both of us, music and culture provided a kind of scaffolding for our emerging identities as young people, and continue to do so as we move forwards in our lives. Starting Hand Mirror was a statement of intent; if we can build the scaffolding to support ourselves, then we can offer that structure to others.
As live events and tours must come to a standstill while we all face the urgent global pandemic crisis, we have spent the last few weeks considering what continuing Hand Mirror at a distance could look like. Through Patreon, we hope to be able to continue to develop our own support system and to connect to those interested in being part of what we’re building, even as the parameters for performing, writing and creating new culture continue to shift. We hope to turn Hand Mirror into a space for self reflection which can support the work of others. We hope for Hand Mirror to be a home for the boundless, the collaborative and the open, from live shows to the written word, from performance to recorded music, and beyond.
By supporting us with a monthly subscription of your choice, you’ll be working with us to help make that possible. In return, you’ll have access to writing, music, performance and collaborations exclusive to patrons. If you support us at the Full Length level, you’ll also get a subscription to our bi-annual print journal and will get both this, and a merch package delivered through your mailbox. Thanks for reflecting with us.”Harkin has been touring since her teens and is one of the most prolific collaborators of her generation. Now, a lifelong collaborator steps into the singular.
In addition to her own bands, she has been a touring member of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. She performed backing vocals for Dua Lipa on Saturday Night Live. Harkin also dueted with comedian Sarah Silverman on ‘Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight’.Her studio work includes contributions to Waxahatchee’s ‘Out In The Storm’. Outside of the music world, Harkin has composed for Turner Prize-winning artist Helen Marten and British comedian Josie Long. She even has a Saturday Night Live sketch named after her (Fred Armisen’s 2016 ‘Harkin Brothers Band’).
The album was written on the road, in a cottage in the Peak District – the UK’s oldest national park – and in Upstate New York. The record was as nomadic as its creator, made over time in three different time zones – at Seahorse Sound in LA, Tesla Sheffield UK with Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Darkstar) and with John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Waxahatchee, Kurt Vile) at Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West NJ USA.
The record features contributions from Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Wye Oak & Bon Iver’s Jenn Wasner and was completed over 16 days dotted between Harkin’s gruelling tour schedule.
The result of Harkin’s unique trajectory is an album that fuses the eeriness of the English countryside with the pace of the mechanized world. In addition to the live foundation of the record, formed of her in-demand musicianship and that of her world class collaborators, manipulated samples and synths howl out over the songs like the winds on the moors themselves. The album cover features a portrait by acclaimed cinematographer Ashley Connor (Angel Olsen, Maggie Rogers, Mitski, Broad City S5, The Miseducation of Cameron Post) overlaid with Harkin’s own photo of marquee letters she discovered in a venue laundry room. Truly an album born on the road.