Pennsylvania duo NATIVE HARROW have announced UK tour dates in support of the release of their new album Happier Now on 2nd August.
The month-long tour will include a slot at The Long Road festival, in-store performances at Rough Trade shops in London, Bristol and Nottingham, plus Jumbo Records in Leeds.
Early praise for the forthcoming new album has been high, with Uncut’s description of Devin Tuel’s ‘wondrous’ voice as ‘evoking both Judee Sill and early Joni Mitchell at their most wistful’ and Americana-UK describing Happier Now as a ‘captivating, almost mesmeric album of the highest quality’. Premiering the album’s second single and title track, Folk Radio explained how ‘it’s hard to be utterly timeless and refreshingly original, but Native Harrow manages it with ease’.
Native Harrow UK Tour Dates
23 Aug – LONDON Rough Trade West (6pm)
28 Aug – EXETER Cavern Club
29 Aug – BRISTOL Rough Trade (7.30pm)
30 Aug – BRISTOL Golden Lion
31 Aug – NOTTINGHAM Rough Trade (3pm)
01 Sep – NOTTINGHAM Running Horse
02 Sep – BIRMINGHAM Kitchen Garden
04 Sep – LONDON Paper Dress Vintage*
05 Sep – WINCHESTER Railway*
06 Sep – CAMBRIDGE Blue Moon
07 Sep – THE LONG ROAD FESTIVAL Leics
08 Sep – LIVERPOOL Leaf
12 Sep – SHEFFIELD Dorothy Pax (free entry)
14 Sep – LEEDS Jumbo Records (3.30pm)
15 Sep – NEWCASTLE Bobik’s (3.30pm)
16 Sep – GLASGOW Hug & Pint
17 Sep – EDINBURGH Stramash
27 Sep – PORTAFERRY Portico of Ards
*with Frankie Lee
Pre-order the album here.
With more dates expected to be added, an up-to-date tour schedule + tickets can be found here.
Devin Tuel may consider herself to be an artist meant for a different time, but she now finds herself inhabiting her own true place. The singer-songwriter is at home in Newburgh, NY reflecting on her third album, Happier Now, released under her nom de plume, Native Harrow, as well as the difficult sojourn the former ballerina and classically trained singer has had to traverse to become the writer and performer she was meant to be. “This record is about becoming your own advocate. Realising that maybe you are different in several or a myriad of ways and that that is okay. And further, it is about me becoming a grown woman,” Tuel says.
After nearly two decades of rigorous training in ballet, theatre, and voice, Tuel needed to break out of the oppressive rules of academia and find her natural voice, write from her heart, and figure out what kind of performer she truly was rather than the one she was being moulded into from the age of 3. “I spent my early twenties playing every venue in Greenwich Village, recording demos in my friend’s kitchen, and making lattes. I felt very alive then. I was on my own living in my own little studio, staying up all night writing; the dream I had of being a bohemian New York City artist was unfolding. I wanted to be Patti Smith. I was also heartbroken, poor, and had no idea what I was getting myself into. My twenties, as I think it goes for most, were all about getting up, getting knocked down, and learning to keep going. I never gave up and I think if I told 20-year-old me how things looked 9 years later she’d be so excited”.
Happier Now (out 2nd August on Loose), is a set of nine songs recorded and mixed by Alex Hall (JD McPherson, The Cactus Blossoms, Pokey LaFarge) at Chicago’s Reliable Recorders. The album was co-produced by Hall, Tuel, and her bandmate, multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms.
Native Harrow cuts out clear and vibrant narratives on fear, love, the open road, ill-fated relationships, and coping with the state of the world. “I wanted to share that I made it out of my own thunderstorm. I had experienced the high peaks and very low valleys of my twenties. I saw more of the world on my own, got through challenges, reveled in true moments of triumph… but all the while the world around me was growing louder, wilder, and scarier. Music for me is a place to be soft. This album was my place to feel it all.”
Happier Now’s nine songs were written during three back-to-back tours across North America supporting the band’s second album, Sorores. The album was recorded in just three days in March 2018 during what Tuel jokingly calls “downtime” in the middle of the grueling 108 date tour. Tuel approached the sessions like a musicians’ workshop, each morning beginning with the songwriter presenting her collaborators with the day’s material. The trio rehearsed and documented each song live on the floor, tracking as a band through each take. No click tracks, scratch tracks, or even headphones; just three musicians in a small room, captured with Hall’s collection of vintage mics and some subtle retro production techniques. Overdubs, including vocal harmonies, B3 organ, Rhodes, and the rare lead guitar were added to decorate these live performances. The creative energy of the tightly-knit sessions spilled over into Tuel’s songwriting as well – she skipped lunch on the third and final day of recording to pen the road-weary “Hard To Take”. Four days after arriving in Chicago, Native Harrow was back on the road and Happier Now was complete.
Happier Now oscillates between feeling the sting of uncertainty (“Can’t Go on Like This”), the beauty of California (“Blue Canyon”) and the ache for lavish stability (“Way to Light”). You could say Tuel wears her heart proudly on her sleeve, but that’d be underplaying the exact gravity of her stories. Each starlit image is framed within her warm, enveloping vocals and the careful, profound considerations of Harms’ musicianship. Start to finish, the new record pours forth from her very bones, and you get the overwhelming sense she has never been more daring and honest than right now.
The nine tracks of Happier Now were recorded in three days on March 19-21, 2018 at Reliable Recorders in Chicago, IL. The album was co-produced by Native Harrow and Alex Hall.