UK multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Harkin will release her second solo album Honeymoon Suite on June 17th. “Body Clock“, the first single from the record, is streaming now alongside an animated video created by Pastel Castle.
Recorded in a one bedroom flat in the depths of UK lockdowns, the songs on Honeymoon Suite are a blend of love, grief, anxiety, resilience, danger, heartbreak and hope. Part pop record, part electronic soundscape, part interior still life, Honeymoon Suite will be released on Hand Mirror, the label Harkin founded in 2019 with her wife, the poet Kate Leah Hewett.
Speaking about the video, Harkin said: “I was a big fan of Pastel Castle’s work and felt like this song would be a perfect fit. I wrote and recorded it during lockdown in a flat with no outdoor space. My brother loaned me a Nintendo Switch and I found solace in games with large maps to explore. Songwriting and gameplay can both have the power to transport and the video Pastel Castle has created takes me on a beautiful and perilous quest.”
Adding to this, Pastel Castle commented: “The video for ‘Body Clock’ is a piece of frame-by-frame pixel art animation, which I had the best time making here at my little home studio in Leeds. Many days were focused entirely on tailoring the movement of Katie’s Sprite / Avatar to align with the mood of the track. I’m very happy with our collaboration and feel inspired now to go on a bit of an adventure of my own.”
Listen to “Body Clock” and watch the video for it below:
Where her self-titled first record is infused with the expansiveness which birthed it – written and recorded while touring the globe – Honeymoon Suite is an entirely different affair. The album was written in the same room in which Harkin and her wife ate all their meals, held their virtual wedding reception and attended a funeral over zoom. As Harkin describes it, Honeymoon Suite is “a ship in a bottle of that time“.
The album’s DIY ethos continued through its artwork. “Kate took the cover photo and designed the layout. She also designed our original wedding invitations so it felt apt.”
The album also marks Harkin’s first forays into self-producing, a journey she began immediately after her move back to the UK. At that time, her best friend, cinematographer Ashley Connor, asked her to create the soundtrack for an experimental short film she was making for Sam Abbas’ quarantine movie ‘Erēmīta (Anthologies)’. “I’ve worked in all manner of studios and assumed many different roles in music making. I had thousands of flight hours but I had still never been the pilot. Owning the role of producer was more of a mental block than anything else, but circumstance dissolved that intimidation. Working on Ashley’s soundtrack early in the pandemic gave me the confidence to continue producing my own solo work. I won a grant from the PPL Momentum Accelerator Fund which would cover the mixing and mastering if I could be self-sufficient in recording. It felt like the quest I needed to push me into discovering this new direction.”
Honeymoon Suite artwork & tracklist:
1. Body Clock
2. A New Day
3. Here Again
4. Matchless Lighting
5. (Give Me) The Streets of Leeds
6. Mt. Merino
7. Talk Of The Town
8. To Make Her Smile
9. Listening Out
10. Driving Down A Flight Of Stairs