HARLEY AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS: FUTURE SUPERSTAR
If you are an L.A.-area musician who would like to submit music of any genre for review, email a stream or download link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HARLEY AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS
Harley and the Hummingbirds‘ Harley Hill-Richmond has been lovingly and quietly (too quietly!) crafting classically heartfelt 60s- and 70s-style pop songs in bedrooms around the globe, from his native swingin’ London to a stint in Tokyo. But it’s here in the warm and smoggy embrace of Los Angeles that he’s released what just may be his magnum opus. He describes Future Superstar as “a concept album about love, fame and time travel.” If that doesn’t already grab your attention, let me emphasize that there are no “Hummingbirds” to speak of on this record—Harley personally wrote every note, played every instrument, and recorded the majority of the music onto good old-fashioned tape with a 2-track in his bedroom. Oh, and the album opens with a proper overture and everything. He cites Roger Waters and Pete Townshend as inspiration, and there are some definite Tommy-style rock opera vibes here. (And the deliciously delirious drums in “Emily” almost manage to match Keith Moon.) But there’s a little Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren magic afoot, too, especially in the sweet, sophisticated, hurt-so-good melodies of songs like “Goodbye” and “…Of You At Night.” Harley’s voice sounds as sweet and gentle as a hummingbird sipping nectar from Topanga Canyon wildflowers, and he’s got a few truly magical lyrics hiding up those vintage sleeves, too, like when he sings, “You’re my darling, while my darling’s not around” (ouch!) or calls out music that’s “good for wastin’ time and gettin’ blue”—the best kind, right? It’s rare to come across a musician making records (nay, concept albums!) in his bedroom with such an expansive, ambitious vision. If there’s any justice in this fickle world, Harley’s the real future star here. He’s already figured how to time travel.
HARLEY AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS’ FUTURE SUPERSTAR IS AVAILABLE NOW HERE.