HARKIN shares new single “Up To Speed”- Debut self-titled album due April 24th via Hand Mirror

March 10, 2020
Photo Credit: Tomm Roeschlein


– Shares new single “Up To Speed”
– Debut self-titled album due April 24th via Hand Mirror 

After recently announcing her debut self-titled album, Harkin is sharing new single “Up To Speed” from the record, which is due out April 24th via Hand Mirror. The track was recorded with Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Wye Oak & Bon Iver’s Jenn Wasner. 

Speaking about the track, Harkin said Up To Speed’ is a song about going nowhere fast. I’ve been on the move for a long time now and I know it’s been something of a coping mechanism. It’s easier to feel like a tourist somewhere you actually are one. It’s about trying to convert a desire to escape into genuine propulsion rather than just a sprint into the void. That’s Jenn yelling “this is my take” at the top of the song, which I kept as it felt very apt.”

Harkin has been touring since her teens and is one of the most prolific collaborators of her generation. Now, a lifelong collaborator steps into the singular. 

In addition to her own bands, she has been a touring member of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. She performed backing vocals for Dua Lipa on Saturday Night Live. Harkin also dueted with comedian Sarah Silverman on ‘Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight’.Her studio work includes contributions to Waxahatchee’s ‘Out In The Storm’. Outside of the music world, Harkin has composed for Turner Prize-winning artist Helen Marten and British comedian Josie Long. She even has a Saturday Night Live sketch named after her (Fred Armisen’s 2016 ‘Harkin Brothers Band’). 

Harkin will be released on Hand Mirror, with publishing support from Rough Trade Publishing. Harkin and her partner, the poet and live arts organiser Kate Leah Hewett, founded Hand Mirror in 2019. The record is the first full length album to be released on Hand Mirror, and the organisation also will also have literary publications, compilations and live events in both the US and the UK in the pipeline.  

The album was written on the road, in a cottage in the Peak District – the UK’s oldest national park – and in Upstate New York. The record was as nomadic as its creator, made over time in three different time zones – at Seahorse Sound in LA, Tesla Sheffield UK with Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Darkstar) and with John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Waxahatchee, Kurt Vile) at Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West NJ USA. 

The record features contributions from Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Wye Oak & Bon Iver’s Jenn Wasner and was completed over 16 days dotted between Harkin’s gruelling tour schedule.

The result of Harkin’s unique trajectory is an album that fuses the eeriness of the English countryside with the pace of the mechanized world. In addition to the live foundation of the record, formed of her in-demand musicianship and that of her world class collaborators, manipulated samples and synths howl out over the songs like the winds on the moors themselves. The album cover features a portrait by acclaimed cinematographer Ashley Connor (Angel Olsen, Maggie Rogers, Mitski, Broad City S5, The Miseducation of Cameron Post) overlaid with Harkin’s own photo of marquee letters she discovered in a venue laundry room. Truly an album born on the road.

Harkin on the album:

“I was living in a Peak District cottage beneath the moors when I started this record, but it mostly formed as I took it with me round the world in the slipstream of the music of my friends. It was wildly rewarding, but what left the most indelible mark on this album was how jarring that time in my life was. Many of these songs grew from the tension between opposites. Between the wilderness and the city, between self-examination and communal ecstatic, night and day, love and shame. 

Growing up in the North you can be on the moors and at a warehouse party in the same day if you have bus fare. Sonically, I was searching for a sound that reflected that experience, that combined the eeriness of the English countryside with the pace of the mechanized world. 

It’s taken me a long time to get to the point of being able to put this record out, and in many ways I’m grateful for the fractured process that led to it, as it has allowed me the space to reflect and create something that is truly without compromise. Founding Hand Mirror is such a big part of that. Culture has always been our personal scaffolding, and with Hand Mirror, we want to build something that can in turn provide that support to others. This album is as much to honour my hard-won sense of self as it is the music that has made the world porous for me in ways I could never have hoped for. “

Pre-order ‘Harkin’ here.

See Harkin live:
Mar 10 Copenhagen DK – Loppen^
Mar 11 Berlin DE – Kantine am Berghain^
Mar 12 Heidelberg DE – Karlstorbahnhof^
Mar 13 Zürich CH – Rote Fabrik^
Mar 16 Paris FR – Le Pop Up du Label^
Apr 9 – New York NY – TV Eye
Apr 10 – Hudson NY – The Half Moon
^ – supporting Torres

‘Harkin’ tracklist: 
1. Mist on Glass
2. Nothing The Night Can’t Change
3. Decade
4. Up To Speed
5. Bristling 
6. Dial It In
7. Red Virginia Creeper 
8. Sun Stay With Me
9. New France
10. Charm and Tedium

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