Har-di-Har, a multi-instrumentalist, trans-genre acoustic duo, consists of life-long performers and partners Julie and Andrew Thoreen. Midwesterners each, these Iowa natives are poised at a crossroads of American sound, geographically and historically. The deft pair is at equal ease with elder sounds like Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and Leo Kottke as they are with contemporaries Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Sufjan Stevens, and Beach House. Further, their love of dance music combines to create a sum that has been called “D&V”–as the sound is largely driven by drums and vocal harmonies, and reverses the groove as impetus for tonal painting.
Best is the fact that they accomplish this feat with only two performers, and without the need of loops, samples or programming. Functioning each as rhythm players (guitar, bass keyboard and drums), the pair doubles on both lead and harmonic vocals, and supplements the sound with a variety of tastefully peculiar orchestrations. Andrew handles bass drum, trombone, and guitar/bass, while Julie covers snare, toms, cymbals, and keyboards.
Their sound inhabits that perfect balance where a melodic line enters emotional space, as though Miles Davis were performing Gregorian chant. Julie’s richly mellifluous rasp calms the experimental ambition of the group to an emotionally cogent sincerity. The result is a familial, yet strangely enchanting, heart-strung wonderment that seems a portrait (as much as an expression) of the obviously-compassionate pair.
The two have saved vigorously over the past three years, working day and night jobs to fund this project. Word(s) of Whim, their first EP, is set for this July, with follow-up releases planned for October, December and February. In addition, they will be touring heavily from September through February and would like to visit your town. They’d prefer it if that tour gave them occasion to visit both coasts.
Cameras: Guy Strauss Eric Benson
Post Production/Editing: Guy Strauss
Director: Guy Strauss
Producers: Guy Strauss Grandon Emilio Hills