Musicians Haley Grant and Kaylee Jasperson make up this intriguing indie folk duo called The Harmaleighs. Haley brings her guitar and sweet vocals and Kaylee joins in with her bass and adds perfectly matching backup harmonies. The duo is about to release their sophomore record She Won’t Make Sense, a more musically divers and experimental album than the previous Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush. Heavy instrumentation and retro synths match the emotional weight of the topic: Haley’s mental health. Suffering from anxiety, which she has named Susan, the LP represents an interaction between Susan and her. Speaking about issues regarding mental health, especially not publicly, is everything but easy. With courage and honesty The Harmaleighs take a brave step at exposing vulnerability through their songs.

‘My Mind was fucked’

Don’t Panic is a track lifted of the forthcoming record that arrives on August 2, 2019. It displays the intense emotionally draining mood the band sprinkles over their smooth indie-folk arrangements. The strong ambiguity between the unsettling lyrics of the single and its mellow instrumentation make it almost sound like something out of a scary movie. A subtle creeping vibe, like a predator luring in his prey with a sweet lullaby just do devour it. ‘I’m biting my fingernails until they bleed as I’m watching my love sleep comfortably.’ The Harmaleighs croon with the most ethereal and innocent vocals. What at the first listen is disguised as a dreamy pop song provokes at the second with distressing dissonance between the lyrics and the instrumentation. Don’t Panic is at the same time soothing bedtime song and harrowing depiction of struggles with anxiety. The duo somehow manages to target an emotionally complex topic simultaneously with lightness and with nearly drowning weight. If you want to know how that is possible, give the video a spin because this feeling can’t really be captured in words.

“I was in a constant state of worry. My relationship was falling apart, my friend group was changing, my career path was unclear, and my mind was fucked. It felt like every aspect of my life was in complete and utter turmoil. ‘Don’t Panic’ was written in my bathroom at 3:30am about trying to calm myself down but being fearful that panic was actually fuelling my creativity. It made me question whether or not I should be seeking help or letting this type of fear run its course because it was allowing me to write these songs that I am so proud of. The last line of the chorus, ‘but what if that’s all I’m good at’ comes from me being scared I’ll be unable to write if I am mentally stable.“ 

Every Monday we’re updating the 50-track-strong Listen AHEAD Playlist on Spotify, adding ten strong songs by sill relatively unknown artists at the beginning. This week’s addition also sees WIVES, Magic Island, Candy Says, Sarah Klang, The Dead Sound and a few more joining our reign of new music. Discover their songs right here by following the playlist on Spotify.