With gospel-tinged vocals and thought-provoking lyricism, meet the Australian singer-songwriter capturing the hearts of thousands.
Brimming with raw honesty is Australian singer-songwriter, Harmony Byrne. With a powerful voice and a far-reaching range, the singer confidently emits a unique blend of styles for her debut album Heavy Doors.
Exploring tragedy, spirituality, depression and addiction, Byrne has crafted an evocative album with soaring choruses and impassioned sax solos. Standout tune “Sweeter Than Sugar”, displays fiery and raucous guitars with Byrne’s captivating vocals guiding us through this love song. We caught up with the rising star talking inspirations, the meaning behind the album, and what’s next.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Harmony, how is lockdown treating you?
It’s a sweet and savoury treat, both of which I’m enjoying. It’s been sweet because I’ve locked down on my writing and savoury because there’s no one around to be the muse for my writing.
How has it affected your creativity?
It’s really given me the internal space needed. As a performer there’s so much ‘output’ but we really need a lot of ‘input’ too. So yeah, it’s been a real blessing for me actually.
Tell us about the moment you realised you wanted to make music?
Well, I don’t remember! I just remember always making music, not ever saying’ hey I want to make music,’ if that makes sense.
How did growing up in Australia influence your sound – who did you listen to growing up?
Homeland always influences what one speaks and thinks about. The Australian landscape is an ancient song within herself. I was born to white privilege on stolen land, the sovereignty of which has not been ceded. So the weight and responsibility has deeply affected my writing. Sometimes not obviously, but it’s there. I listened to church music mainly, raised on Latter Day Saint hymns.
Congratulations on your new album – where did you pull your inspirations for Heavy Doors?
I was literally pulling on heavy doors every day recording the album, there were like 10 on the way to the bathroom! Musically I’d say from all of my friends – and from Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Portishead, Gillian Welch, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, Patti Smith… etc.
All your music sounds super lyrically cathartic – is this where you unload all your emotions?
Yes, it’s a personal, emotional release for sure, but it’s also a lot more than ‘my’ emotions. My music is a conduit for ancestral voices to be heard.
Is that vulnerability and honesty really important to you?
Yes. I think it’s kind of our weapon of mass abundance. The more honest we are, the more we can actually achieve what our hearts truly desire.
What do you want listeners to take away from it?
A slice of apple pie. A feeling that it’s okay to be who you are, to share your stories. Especially to all my sisters out there – let your voices roar!
What’s been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
Releasing my record! Still pinching myself! Working with Jim Eno was a pinch, and having Charlie Sexton play on the Townes Van Zandt cover I did as the last song on the record…that was a huge pinch. He knew Townes well and actually plays him in the film Blaze, so it was a fully a ‘meant to be/thank you universe’ moment.
What’s next for you?/what are you excited about?
I’m excited to keep the ball rolling and keep making records for the rest of my life. I’m excited to take the next step with my writing, to be even braver and to help others voices to be heard.