Monotonous, but otherworldly. Tiring, but oddly thrilling. Lonely, but strangely comforting. Driving at night is weird.
Honeymoon Suite, the second album by Harkin, attempts to capture the complex feeling of the dark, lonely road through the medium of dreamy, twisted synth pop. The delicate snares of opener ‘Body Clock’ get things going. The track’s subtle, slowly sweeping highway synths cruise past glowing street lamps and deep into the warmth of the night. From here the record continues on down the road of electronic cosiness. ‘A New Day’ and ‘(Give Me) The Streets Of Leeds’ build on the album’s early moments while upping the tempo, seeing Harkin slowly morph into St Vincent on a Horlicks bender.
Whilst the majority of the album is filled with low-key optimism, at times Harkin drifts into the darkness. Ironically, it’s during these moments that she shines brightest. The unnerving guitar loops and hypnotic drums of ‘Matchless Lighting’ add a surreal edge to proceedings, suggesting that something sinister may be lurking deep within the shadows.
Finale ‘Driving Down A Flight Of Stairs’ revisits this land of odd. Lynchian whooshes overlay ethereal synthesisers, helping us to pass through the remnants of night towards the first crackles of sunshine, bringing us rolling slowly towards the end of the road. With Honeymoon Suite, Harkin has proven that there’s beauty to be found within the darkness. You just need to know which direction to drive.
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