Record review: Brett Harris' Mr. Sunshine | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Record review: Brett Harris' Mr. Sunshine 


Impeccable melodies, a tenor-baritone coo, radio warmth: The Durham bandleader Brett Harris demonstrated a talent for heartfelt pop that recalls Burt Bacharach and Brill Building on his 2010 debut, Man of Few Words. Chris Stamey helped produce and mix that record, and, as a testament to Harris' finesse, the two apparently hit it off; Harris wound up backing Stamey's reformed dBs on tour, as well as joining Stamey in his ensemble re-creation of Big Star.

Anxious to get back to his solo career, Harris returned to the studio this year to record his second album, Up in the Air, scheduled for release in 2015. Mr. Sunshine—four songs of perfect foreshadowing, split between originals and a live Alex Chilton take—might have you eying the calendar early.

The reverb-drenched, psychedelic-laced title track suggests Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything?, though the upper-register vocals of "Out of the Blue" hint at the Big Star in Harris' blood. The song itself, though, turns toward laconic blues-folk, like early Fleetwood Mac making room for an audacious art-rock break. That's how far Harris can reach.

Still, these are mere appetizers for "When You Get the Chance," a plaintive mea culpa driven by acoustic guitar and sonorous organ. Harris explains that he's circled the block so many times "the neighbors must think I'm an old forgetful fool," winning with charmingly old-fashioned earnestness. Harris makes his better-late-than-never appeal to his forgotten love, remembering how "time stood still when you and I would dance." Like the entire album, it's a keenly pitched sentiment that's not pushy but still persuasive. Here's hoping Up in the Air doesn't stay that way long.

Label: self-released


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)


Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation