Over the past five years, Australia has introduced the world to some of the most gifted and treasured singer-songwriters. Many have become indie favourites; some have turned into stars. Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin, Alex the Astronaut, Alex Lahey, and last year’s surprise Stella Donnelly are just a few of the names. The next Aussie sensation arrives, and her name is Tanaya Harper.
Those with their ears to the ground within the Perth music scene already know about Harper, who fronts the grunge-pop outfit Bells Rapids and plays in indie outfit Ghost Care. Electronic and club listeners likely have heard her voice on songs from German producer The Cyclist and UK-AUS trio AKD & Deepstar. With her saccharine vocals, it is easy to understand why she is in high demand. Now it’s time for her to establish her own name and make her mark. Today she unveils her debut single, which we are privileged to premiere to the world.
“Graceless” is unlike her past musical endeavours. It is a gentle, stripped-back folk-rock tune that is mesmerizing and enchanting. Like Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sharon Van Etten, Harper turns subtlety and delicateness into a beautiful, emotional experience. As her friend and label mate, the aforementioned Stella Donnelly, strums a gorgeous melody on guitar, Harper’s lush voice glides effortlessly in the air with each word gently floating like a feather. Yet despite the beauty of every note and element, a subtle desperation lingers as Harper extends the final lyric. As she explains:
“Although it may initially sound quite dreamy and jovial, ‘Graceless’ actually came from a really dark place. I couldn’t understand this emptiness and low self-worth that I’d been walking around with for so long, so I finally started trying to describe how it felt and the relentlessness of how it never leaves.”
But through the struggle, Harper found beauty and delivered an unforgettable debut that puts her immediately on the music map as one to watch. As a definite star within the Aussie music scene and a soon-to-be Triple J favorite and likely nominated for one of Triple J Unearthed’s year-end awards.
Harper’s journey continues over the coming weeks, as she will release more music. Then on June 22nd, her debut EP, Some Kinds, arrives via super Aussie boutique label Healthy Tapes. Pre-orders for the record are here.
Harper is performing around Western Australia over the coming weeks, both solo and with her other projects. Find dates and information here.
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