Australian singer-songwriter Harmony Byrne carries a powerful voice that can both devastate with muscular ferocity and affirm with skilled restraint. Crafting a unique, unexpected blend of styles, her sharp, moving songwriting captures listeners from the first note.
Today, she shares a new EP, "The Songs I Sing When No One Is Listening." A collection of stripped-down songs, the 5-track project was written and recorded during quarantine, in solitude out in the Australian Bush. Byrne describes the conditions as "the perfect space to go within, especially as COVID restrictions have left me nothing to do but stew in my own juices." She continues, "I also love the intimacy demos have and often think that’s because no one else is around, liberating, like a solitary poop. So I recorded everything myself, with a very simple set up and I really bloody enjoyed every moment singing in my home, safe and sound."
The EP opens with the new single, "Daisy Chains." Delicate and mournful, it reveals themes of innocence, tragedy, and heartbreak, though the specifics are open for interpretation.
Byrne notes about the song, "'Daisy Chains' is a particularly difficult song to explain. Layers of meaning constantly reveal themselves to me and hopefully to the listener...However I do also know what this song is about for me, but that is for me to know, not for you. Honestly, it’s too personal and sacred to divulge in with written language. Perhaps instead, I could invite the listener to have a sniff and find meaning for themselves."
Byrne introduced the EP in November with the single "The Good Days & The Bad Days." The song lulls gently through a minimal arrangement; a single lead vocal and one acoustic guitar track on either side before she layers in a soft, humming counter melody. Also included in the project are "Sellars Street," a vulnerable vow of devotion; "Sparrow," which confronts the unknowns of embarking on a journey of intense love; and an impassioned cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2."
Last year, Byrne released her debut full-length album, Heavy Doors. Produced by Spoon's Jim Eno (Tennis, Poliça, !!!), the 10-track album confidently traverses a variety of styles from psych-rock to blues, alt-country, folk, pop, and gospel. With raw honesty, Byrne explores topics like tragedy, spirituality, depression, fear, addiction, and self-liberation.
Raised in a Mormon family, the third of seven kids, Byrne was introduced to church music and traditional rock n’ roll at a young age, discovering a deep, innate love for the tunes of yesteryear. Upon entering the Waldorf School of the Arts in Melbourne she began teaching herself to play guitar and piano, all while patiently developing a unique songwriting voice all her own.
HARMONY BYRNE - THE SONGS I SING WHEN NO ONE IS LISTENING TRACKLIST:
1. Daisy Chains
2. Sellars Street
3. The Good Days & The Bad Days
5. Chelsea Hotel #2