“Oh My Brother” by Harbor and Home is one of those meticulously produced, powerfully delivered, insanely soulful folk songs. You’ll be drawn in by the catchy melodies and organic feel, then stay for the gritty, emotive vocals. To say this track embodies everything beautiful about Americana music would be an understatement. It is quintessentially brilliant songwriting by any standard.
“I was born and raised / Ready to believe in grace,” the track begins. We’re greeted with a subtly affected electric guitar and the four-on-the-floor thump of a kick drum. The singer stays in a low register, deepened by the warmth of his tone. As the verse flows along, new elements pour in, such as a rhythmic string of muted guitar plucks. With each measure, the energy builds toward the chorus.
“Oh My Brother / We’ve got work to do,” the singer cries, enveloped in these luscious harmonies. Spacey synths course through the background as a kick-snare drum pattern keeps the beat. The message is endearing, calling for people to reignite their love for others. Overall, it manages to be very uplifting without coming across as corny, something honestly quite difficult to accomplish.
If you stick around after that, you’re in for a treat. The singer has a few gloriously impassioned moments, belting these impossibly high notes with all the rasp he can muster. Plus, you get all of the same catchy melodies from before. Be sure to give Harbor and Home a listen or a follow on your choice of social media! You won’t regret getting to know this talented group.
Q&A with Harbor & Home
Q: I love the clean-cut yet incredibly organic nature of “Oh My Brother”. Who are your biggest inspirations?
Harbor & Home: I think this song was really an attempt to be a bit more radio friendly than previous songs we have come out with in the past. A lot of inspiration was drawn from modern pop music while trying to maintain an organic sound that was true to who we are. We love anything from Johnny Cash to Kacey Musgraves or The Beach Boys to Harry Styles. Music is inspiring and we try to find that inspiration in any song and add it to our arsenal of tools we use in writing.
Q: It seems like live performance and recording/releasing music are both pretty essential to Harbor and Home. Which aspects of both processes do you most enjoy?
Harbor & Home: I think for any band that wants to play the long game, you need to be able to create new music, but also perform it at a high level. For us, live performance has been a big focus and we seek to maintain a high level of excellence at our live shows. Creating an experience is my favorite part of a live show. Making a moment that is more than just a musical experience and truly trying to craft a memory. In the studio, I think the part that starts to really get me going is adding in all the “ear candy” or exciting sounds or moments that most people might not even notice. Creating a mood or a feeling just by accentuating a lyric or sound. I love that.
Q: “Oh My Brother” has this classic, emotionally gratifying sound that’s always transcended time and place. What do you think it is about Americana music that touches so many people, and which facets of the genre does Harbor and Home strive to evoke?
Harbor & Home: I think making music that is honest and for the most part maintains a positive mindset has always been at the forefront of our minds. We want to sing lyrics that we believe in and convey attitudes that we think are worth exemplifying. I think that if our choice to pursue our values and create music we believe in creates timeless music, we would gladly welcome that ramification. I can’t set out to make something timeless, that’s not my decision. Only time itself will tell me whether something will stand the test of time or not. All that being said, organic instruments and raw vocals always seem to be something that we as humans are drawn to. No frills or tricks, just raw human emotion through vocal chords. We’re all about that.
Q: How does this song embody the current image of the band, and how does it differ from previous releases?
Harbor & Home: I think this song is really a story of the journey that Harbor & Home has been on. We’ve been through many different members and changes over the years, but we always try to maintain love for each member who has been with us. It’s a tough thing to see a member step away from something we have all put our hearts and souls into, and yet we want to look past the painful circumstances and love our brother or sister no matter what. This song is an anthem for all of us to look past our differences and truly embrace what loving one another means. I think if we stopped and thought to ourselves, “How well am I loving those around me?” we would be shocked at how much work we still have to do.
Q: What does the future of Harbor and Home look like?
Harbor & Home: Well as for the future, nothing is more daunting and yet more exciting. We think there are magnificent things on the horizon and we are waiting in anticipation to see what those things are! We’re in it for the long haul. 10 years of the grind and we’re not through yet.
Q: What would you like to say to your supporters out there?
Harbor & Home: That we love y’all! We couldn’t keep making music without those wonderful ears on the other side of your devices or car speakers or wherever you choose to listen to us. And hang in there, we know it’s been a weird couple of years for all of us, but we’re longing to see y’all soon and kick it at the next H&H show!! <3
Reviewed & Interviewed by Alyce Lindberg
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