EP Review – Hope by Harper (Devil Town Tapes)

Harper

Originally released digitallyl in May 2022 and now picked up by the ever reliable Devil Town Tapes cassette label, this debut EP by Leicester’s Matt Groves and Sadie Parry (aka Harper) is another in a whole host of recent acts who justify our attention to a bedroom-pop genre that is often dismissed as simply having too much chaff among the wheat.
Harper has found their own recipe for absolute beauty across all four tracks. At their most introspective, Us Now, Heavy Fog, and You and Me take the core foundation of the recent Fine sound, all fragile janged riffs and hushed male/female harmonies and vocal interplay and augments it with their version of beauty by removing all tempo and stripping down the production to almost straight-to-tape proportions. It is simply “the” most stunning slowcore.
However, the very best of Hope is heard when the duo breaks free from the beautiful shackles of introspection. Today begins with Parry’s sultry Hope Sandoval style vocals before being engulfed by all manner of subtle, Lush-infected shoegaze. It’s the most vibrant track on the release and ultimately the most memorable, despite the stiff competition.
Perfectly unaccomplished in all the best ways, this release has incredible potential.

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