Despite using different cheesy, Christmas cracker style jokes as their bios on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, up-and-coming indie act, alt-pop/folk duo HARLOR make better music than their attempts at humour. (Said also with my tongue firmly in my cheek, of course). I actually rather like their quirkiness and this cute, endearing ploy to persuade people to go check out their tracks. I had a press release come in which introduced me to the duo in the first instance, although, had it been the case that I had stumbled upon them for myself. I would have been equally buzzing with curiosity about them, anyway.

HARLOR has just released their debut EP, “Letters to an X“. A concept-album, tackling the different degrees of heartbreak we go through when a romantic relationship ends. It does, however, cover loss and longing in a different way to that shared by Little Mix, who gave a shout out to their ex. HARLOR are keener to promote their songwriting skills and musicianship, for one thing.

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Nick and Max of the duo take us through a full range of emotions yet do so with a pleasant understanding about using touches of sensitivity. Each track on the EP is written as though it is a small life lesson in itself. These are completed by having dreamy, melodic soundscapes attached to them. As in these circumstances, it is better to soothe and inhibit some calm when these experiences have been so traumatic and unsettling. From the aching feelings etched all over “Heart Games” to the sense of hesitancy and resistance covered on “Not Ready To Go” and the confronting of distress and pain on haunting Temposhark reminiscent track, “Skeletons“. HARLOR showcase their many strengths and come through shining on all accounts.

What you are hearing on “Letters to an X” is an indie-pop act that is poised for a breakthrough. Suffice to say, HARLOR is already attracting plenty of tastemaker praise. My advice, jump on the bandwagon HARLOR are worth tapping into.

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