Listening to Cariad Harmon, its hard to believe that the singer-songwriter spent much of her youth galavanting through the streets of London and dancing until the wee hours of the morning to legendary house and techno DJs at West Londons now defunct Club UK. Its not surprising, however, to learn that after the parties were over, Harmon returned home to secretly throw on a Tracy Chapman or Bob Dylan album and strum her acoustic guitar. Being caught between two worlds is a common echo in Harmons life. She grew up with an English mother and an American father and often struggled with feeling like an outsider in both Countries.
These divergent set of influences have served her well, with the proof being her newest single, "I Wanna Be Famous. A brilliant, concise folk pop number that still manages to have a propulsive beat behind it that gives it the energy and immediacy of the dance hits she grew up listening to. The accompanying video is a beautifully shot and darkly comic series of vignettes that create a powerful narrative about the difficulties of following dreams and the universal hunger for fame and notoriety, so present in our social media-savvy culture.
Cariad's songs have caught the attention of both fellow musicians and artists alike. Her new self-titled album boasts performances by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius and Mike Savino of Tall Tall Trees. It was co-produced by Oli Rockberger and Chris Abell (Mat & Kim, Pete Yorn, Alabama Shakes), while executive producer Matt Pierson (Grammy nominees Kirk Whalum, Brad Mehldau) produced 5 of the albums 11 tracks, and mixed and mastered the project giving the album a salient voice. Her music has been featured in TV and film, such as The Hawk Is Dying (starring Paul Giamatti & Michelle Williams) and most recently a choice placement of her song "Like You," on the smash TV Land hit Younger. Perhaps the most memorable of her songs, however, would have to be the new single for "I Wanna Be Famous," and the brilliant music video accompaniment.