Harkness chronicles a bittersweet tale of romance and isolation on his nostalgically trippy single and visualizer video Sugar Bitch — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The enigmatic Toronto artist’s signature ability to combine vintage songcraft, thought-provoking lyrics and striking sonics into one-of-a-kind creations is on full display once again in his latest release, which juxtaposes gorgeous melodies with a tale of romantic obsession.
“Usually when I write a song it comes straight from my own personal experience, be it from my romantic relationships or my general inner world exploration,” Harkness says. “Sugar Bitch was very different in that regard as it was inspired by my observations of what appeared to be a very painful situation that a friend of mine was going through with her lover.
“As much as the song is veiled in a romantic story, it deals with topics of illusion and loneliness and the pain of separation on a much more universal level. The rampant fragmentation in this world and all of the havoc it is creating both socially and environmentally aches for a coming together. ‘It’s a Sugar Bitch when we’re apart’ is a rally cry and call for unity on a much more worldly level.”
Conversely, the musical end of the cut is enchanting and whimsical, utilizing a variety of sounds like only Harkness can deliver. “Sugar Bitch was also one of the earliest songs I recorded when I was just learning the studio gear and experimenting with various recording techniques,” he says. “One interesting thing I did that creates the song’s signature sound is, instead of strumming the rhythm guitar part as you normally would, I recorded one string at a time and layered many tracks to create much more sheen to the sound.”
Sugar Bitch was written and produced by Harkness at Anonymous Studios in Toronto for Windchild Records. In addition to Harkness, the track features additional percussion by Lorne Grossman, additional guitar by Rich Pell, Natalie Kemerer and Ed Roman on acoustic bass, Alexandra McMaster on cello, and Dave Dunlop and Gord Myers on trumpet and trombone.
The song serves as the second preview single from the forthcoming 2023 release Ciao To The Beauty. An artist born of two musical parents, Harkness has spent the better part of his life honing his talent and harnessing his creativity in his own home studio. He’s taken stages across Canada, the U.S., U.K., and Europe with various musicians and bands including Paul Humphrey, Sara Craig, Nicolette and Chunk o’ Funk. As he settles into forming his originals into a sonic collective think piece, Harkness is gearing up to lead the charge on an entirely new genre devised of his eclecticism and musical prowess.
Check out Sugar Bitch above, sample more music from Harkness below, and find him at his website and Instagram.