Wilson Harwood's been busy and his new music is rad.
If you haven’t yet heard, local singer-songwriter Wilson Harwood just dropped a new single. And it’s tasty. Harwood’s “Saturated in Sunshine” opens with an easy-listening, beachy vibe that soon has you singing-along to its catchy, upbeat chorus. Harwood has managed to combine what feels like a smooth lullaby with a buoyant reminiscence of something lost; you can almost feel the warm tide rolling over your feet as his voice sweeps over drippy percussion and soft guitars. Just days after dropping it online, Harwood had his single release party featuring Pamela Machala and Cousin Curtiss, which was a huge success. So we wanted to catch up with him and hear more about his solo work (you may know him from Rocktin), what inspired him to write “Saturated in Sunshine,” and what his plans are for the fall. Read on:
So we know you have some involvement with Boulder-based Rocktin. Tell us about your venture into the solo world and what it has been like now creating from that perspective.
It is super fun to play with Rocktin and create music with so many collaborators. My new venture into the solo world was a bit daunting at first, but also pushed me in new directions musically. I have enjoyed writing for just banjo, guitar, and ukulele; I really like the challenge of playing with less instrumentation. Overall, it has been a lot of fun recording and performing with an array of different musicians in Boulder and playing to their individual strengths.
“Saturated in Sunshine” is so upbeat and positive. It even feels a bit beachy. What inspired this track?
It’s a bit ironic since the nearest beach is hundreds of miles away, but the song started as just an improvised recording session. I like to simply create for creation’s sake at times and “Saturated In Sunshine” was the result of doing just that. I think the chord progression came first, which inspired the beachy feel, but the idea of a couple falling out of love in paradise was a spur of the moment creation while recording some scratch lyrics. I like the irony of it feeling upbeat and positive, but having a heavy tinge of “down and out” as well.
That sort of play is definitely evident on the track. What was it like recording at The Hook Factory?
The Hook Factory is actually the name of my mixing engineer, Justin Peacock’s, company. He rents out space at Silo Sound Studios in Denver. It was very different from recording sessions I had done with Rocktin in the past where we had hours of tracking and several isolation booths. For “Saturated In Sunshine,” I just recorded the acoustic guitar over the production I had already made at home. I then overdubbed vocals on top of that and it was a wrap!
Sometimes simple is the best way to go. Speaking of- we love the pastel goodness that is your album art for this track. Was this something you created?
Thanks! Actually my talented friend Adrian Flynt made the artwork. He is the bass player in Rocktin and a great artist. We are also working together on the artwork for my next single, which will drop on 02/09/2016.
Very cool. So your single release party was an awesome success. Tell us what it was like putting together the lineup for that show with Pamela Machala and Cousin Curtiss. And what was your favorite part of that show?
The show was a ton of fun. I was very happy to have Pamela Machala on board and have always admired her songwriting. Cousin Curtiss was actually recommended to me by Shine’s booking manager. Once I saw that Curtiss was a looping artist, played great music, and traveled around in a tiny home, I knew I wanted to add him to the line up. My favorite part of the show was when I realized the audience was listening so intently that I had to pause and tell them it felt like I was performing to them in my living room. The show was a perfect mix of intimate listening tracks and danceable grooves.
Always a good combination. Talk to us about your plans this fall. Any more releases planned? Recording? Is a music video for “Saturated in Sunshine” in the works?
I am actually touring on “Saturated In Sunshine” around Colorado and New Mexico until January. Then, in February, I’ll be having my next single release party at Swallow Hill in Denver. I have all of my recordings finished and am currently having them mixed and mastered. So actually in May, I’ll release a five-song EP. And you know, I did make a music video for “Saturated In Sunshine,” but we didn’t release it. We wanted a slightly different aesthetic and production in the end. But keep an eye out for a music video for my next single in February!
Wow! Jam packed plans. We dig that. You can listen to “Saturated in Sunshine” below: