Even whilst spending the last several years behind the drumkit of acclaimed indie folk-rock act Boy & Bear, Tim Hart managed to find the time to pen two solo albums – the second of which is due out this Friday. He answered our questions about the beautiful The Narrow Corner.
You wrote these songs in-between your commitments with Boy & Bear; the obvious question is, are these songs a reaction against the collective B&B sound, or is the separation of solo and ensemble not a thing, in your mind?
I wouldn’t say a reaction as much as another outlet for me, an outlet where I can experiment a little more freely.
Your voice has been compared to Elliott Smith (apt). Aside from the melody and vocal tone, I think there’s something about the doubling of vocals that evokes him too. Is this an effect you’ve always liked?
It is actually, I just liked the way it sounded. I think it probably comes from John Lennon originally, but Elliott Smith sounded amazing with the double track vocals.
Maybe Just The Once are gorgeous, especially the tambourine which enters so slowly it’s almost falling over. How did this one come together? Is it you playing the pedalsteel guitar?
The slide guitar is Mark Myers on this one. This song I wrote while B&B were in the studio in England. I guess I was missing my girlfriend at the time, and feeling a bit bad about having such a great time away, and wrote this one.
There are some very delicate ‘70s-style harmonies among these tracks. Did you create them as you went along (in-studio) or did you spend time perfecting the exact feel you wanted while writing?
I think it was more a spontaneous thing. I enjoy this sort of process so I just tend to have a bit of fun with it.
Water Fire is my favourite. I vote vibraphone needs to come back into popular music! Having said that… do you think it’s such an evocative sound because perhaps it isn’t used very much?
Hey, thanks so much. I’m really happy with this track. Mark played the vibes on this and I love the sound. Occasionally you get fake glock on stuff, but this is the real deal. Pretty cool. And yeah, I’m not sure… maybe it is because its rarely used these days. That’s an interesting question.
You’ve said that album closer Cool Water is “no one’s favourite” – did that make you cleave more closely to it, because it represents your not doing things for other people’s benefit?
I think it was more personal than that for me, in Cool Water. It’s just a simple story, slightly sad and slightly sleepy, that seems to not be conscious of anyone’s eyes or ears on it. I like that. It is was it is, and it makes me happy in that sense.
The Narrow Corner is out February 2 via Universal.
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