Harkin – Harkin

Katie Harkin (Sky Larkin) shows her knack for sincere songwriting on her debut solo album

Album Review by Cheri Amour | 20 Apr 2020
  • Harkin – Harkin
Album title: Harkin
Artist: Harkin
Label: Hand Mirror
Release date: 24 Apr

From the first notes of wistful opener Mist On Glass, we’re right back in the hazy bliss of the noughties. But that doesn’t mean that Harkin – despite her former band Sky Larkin’s heyday peaking around a similar era – is planted in nostalgia. Since her days fronting the Leeds trio, Katie Harkin has arguably become one of the most prolific collaborators of our generation, having worked with Sleater-Kinney, Courtney Barnett and Waxahatchee among others.

With such a bumper black book, Harkin naturally leans on some touring pals to bring this work into being. Indeed, her eponymous debut includes contributions from Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa. But the subject matter is self-reflective. Decade examines the feeling of regret while conflict-bruised Bristling heralds a howl of a chorus line, calling out across the misty moors. Red Virginia Creeper nods to the album’s (and musician’s) dual roots capturing some of upstate New York’s vast plateaus in its roaming reverb and warm feedback. 

Her career to date might have been bolstered by a stellar string of friends but there’s one thing that the multi-instrumentalist is more than capable of handling herself – the artful knack for sincere songwriting. 

Listen to: Nothing the Night Can’t Change, Bristling, Dial It In