The Harrow on Silhouettes

Brooklyn post-punk/dream pop band The Harrow present their debut album, Silhouettes. Walking a fine line between the alluring and the surreal, it features driving, club-centric electronics nestled against lush organic instrumentation, woven with vivid songcraft. The result is a hauntingly familiar sound that is never complacent in scope. Mixed by Xavier Paradis of Automelodi, the album was released in both vinyl and digital formats by German label aufnahme+wiedergabe on November 6.
Composed of Vanessa Irena, Frank Deserto, Barrett Hiatt, and Greg Fasolino, The Harrow’s present form coalesced in 2013, culminating in the release of their self-titled EP that October.
“Axis,” a vinyl split single on aufnahme+wiedergabe, followed in spring 2014, accompanied by the band’s first video. Last October, The Harrow issued a cover of The Glove’s “Mouth to Mouth” as a free digital single via Everything Is Chemical.
Preceded by the “Love Like Shadows” single and video in September 2015, Silhouettes is a more eclectic and collaborative effort, studded with moments of real beauty and pure chaos. It showcases a new level of integration between advanced electronics, dreamy melodies and aggressive beats.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with the band to discuss the record and this is what they told us.
When did you begin writing the material for Silhouettes
Frank: We began writing material for the record in early 2014. Our earlier material was more individually composed, more of an exercise in intent. Once our lineup was solidified, we wanted to explore things in a more collaborative setting, and “Love Like Shadows” was a real awakening in terms of what kind of music we could all make together.
Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?
Greg: “Darling” really transformed as it went along. Vanessa’s original instrumental demo was a ghostly, almost ambient soundtrack-ish type of thing. I added this strange guitar part inspired by Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and then on top of that, Frank laid down this monster distorted rock bassline. The final result was really aggressive, quite different than how it started
Vanessa: I remember giving the guys the beat, and then when Greg and Frank came back with it, I was like WHOAH! It was an awesome surprise.
Songs like “Darling” and “Feral Haze” remind us a lot of the darker side of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure. We know you’ve covered The Glove in the past. How much of an influence were these bands on your music?
Frank: These bands are pretty touchstone for me, and the entire 4AD, Factory Records, and Lively Art catalogs shaped much of my creative interests over the years, but I am eclectic by nature, so I’m always pulling inspiration from across the spectrum. As The Harrow developed as an actual group, our inspiration expanded manifold.
Greg: The Banshees and Cure are certainly part of our collective roots and it’s flattering to be compared to them, but I think that particular influence might be overstated. I loved The Cure when I was in college 30 years ago but they are not really a primary inspiration for me at present, and I think this album displays a much wider variety of influences and musical eras, varying from member to member. “Feral Haze” is an excellent example because the song was really more inspired by ’90s sounds like trip hop and shoegaze rather than things from the ’80s, and is more comparable to something like Curve, Portishead or Garbage than anything Robert Smith ever released.
Silhouettes is releasing on German label, aufnahme+wiedergabe. How did that relationship come about?
Frank: I had been in cahoots with a+w via my time at Wierd Records, sharing a similar passion and showcasing both the new and the obscure. I sent Phil (Strobel) a series of instrumental demos he was working on long before the band formed properly. Phil took an immediate interest and offered to release a single for us (2014’s “Axis”) straight off the gate.
Do you have any plans to tour this fall or winter?
Barrett: Not at the present; we are focused now on the album release and finishing the video clip for “Feral Haze,” directed by Gooby Herms.
(Visit The Harrow here: http//
Catch them live here:
11.11 • Alphaville w/ Bootblacks, Shannon F (Light Asylum) & Second Still (Brooklyn, NY Record Release Show))