Scott Hardware returns with
emboldening new single ‘Joy’
Brand new album ‘Engel’ is out April 3rd
on Telephone Explosion
On April 3, 2020, Toronto’s Scott Hardware will be releasing Engel, his second full-length album, and first on Telephone Explosion Records. It will mark the end of a three-year process of writing, recording and letting down his guard (for better or worse.)
His last album, 2016’s Mutate, Repeat, Infinity, was the culmination of a years-long obsession with the HIV/AIDS crisis and how it was shaped by capitalism. Hardware’s early years after coming out were shaped by the courage of people close to him who were dealing with difficult diagnoses.
“Looking at these situations from a macro/societal lens must have been the only way I could process and share those years of my life and my loved ones’ lives with an audience” Hardware recalls. “From a writing and production standpoint, I was trying to re-imagine various eras of dance music and sound as urgent and vital as they would have in their heyday of the ‘80s and ‘90s.”
Within a year of moving back (to Toronto) from Berlin, Scott watched Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and was immediately filled with its inherent curiosity. The film, in short, follows angels around pre-unification Berlin as they listen to the thoughts of the mortals they are surrounded by.
“I sought with this album to capture the film’s velvety feeling – in turns funny, depressing, dark and mundane – in LP form” Hardware says. “These songs imagine Wenders’ angels buzzing around my friends, my family and I. Writing from their point of view allowed me unfettered access to my own thoughts about them and myself.”
Now you can hear new single Joy, an emboldening avant-pop track, that serves as Hardware’s’ promise to keep searching for life’s joys. “This is a song not about experiencing Joy but a promise to myself to keep looking for it.” he says. “Reading the lyrics back revealed to me that I consider this pretty hard work; I’d have to keep pushing the boundaries of my own spirituality, sexuality and relationships to find it. By the end of the song I’m begging no one and nothing in particular to ‘give me to my Joy’”.
Like many others on the album, the recording is a result of previous failed attempts. So after Hardware deemed Joy’s last version ‘a flop’, he knew that he needed to add the excitement and spirit of collaboration to it. “Carlyn Bezic (Ice Cream) and Jonathan Pappo (WHIMM + many others) are two of my favourites to play with, we have a blast together and working with them allowed me to draw on the aggressive nature of some of the music each of them makes respectively”.
Joy is the most overt nod to dance music on the record, it’s scattered in shards across Engel but the production style on Joy serves as a love letter to music that makes you move. However, dancing isn’t the only reaction that Hardware wants Joy to inspire. “There’s a gooey and alert feeling that radiates from my stomach upwards and it only comes after conquering a major anxiety. I can’t be the only one who’s felt it, so I hope it reminds people of that feeling and inspires them to chase it again”.