Both Leeds based singer/songwriter Harry Ormes and London-based songwriter/producer Frankie Harper are new to me but on the strength of this song clearly I;ve been missing out.
‘Willow’ is a sparse folk-ish ballad. Voice, delicate acoustic guitar and touches of subtle electronica combine to make this mesmirising song. And when I say subtle touches of electronica, I mean so subtle that they’re hard to spot. You would, however, miss them if they weren’t there; the impact of them is in mood and atmosphere. The arrangement and production is jaw-droppingly good.
What the arrangement does is to allow both Harry’s voice and the words shine through. Harry’s vocals are intimate and full of quiet emotion. This is fitting for a song that speaks of real experiences and feelings.
They describe ‘Willow’ as “an acoustic vignette about nostalgia, resignation, and how we can sometimes find ourselves attached to remembered or imagined versions of the ones we love”. Harry elaborates, “with ‘Willow’, we wanted to create a breakup song that felt very, very raw, but without any bitterness in it. Sometimes the scariest thing about a breakup might not be that anyone’s done anything wrong; it might be that no one’s done anything wrong, you know? And you’re left wondering which one of you has changed. Or if both of you have changed. Or if whatever understanding you thought you had about yourself was just plain wrong.”
The words are compelling and deceptively simple, their meaning multiplied by Harry’s vocal. These are words to listen to, to understand while at the same time hearing how they and the music are so much more than the sum of their parts.
‘Willow’ is an absolute joy; words, voice and music working together perfectly to make something full of beauty and emotion.
Harry Orme is a vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and arranger based in Leeds, UK.
As a singer-songwriter, Harry has toured the UK and Europe and has opened for internationally renowned songwriters/bands across the folk and indie spectrum, including Big Thief, Scott Matthews, Tiny Ruins, Sara Watkins, Ciaran Lavery, Emily Portman and Luke Concannon.
As well as an artist in his own right, Harry is an in-demand performer and arranger across the folk and jazz scenes in the North of England, including collaborations as a sideman/arranger with George Boomsma, Elanor Moss, Chris Brain, The Silver Reserve.
Frankie Harper is a London-based composer, songwriter, producer, and engineer. He is a co-founder of Evoke Studios and is one half of alt-pop act In The Morning Lights.
In 2023 Frankie co-composed, produced, and mixed the World Soundtrack nominated score for ‘Horizon: Call of the Mountain’.
Frankie’s work in pop music includes co-producing and mixing the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest entry for the Czech Republic. His work has been selected as Radio 1 Track of the Week and has topped Spotify’s Viral 50 chart.
In 2020, he signed a worldwide publishing deal with Faber Alt.