John Harvey – Second Chances (2021)

With his debut EP Second Chances, John Harvey is finding his footing and honing his unique sound. While showcasing his evolution as an artist, the tracks of the EP explore various emotions and experiences from realising you have made a mistake to the possibilities of a new beginning. Including the upbeat track ‘Your Truck My Trailer’, the EP moves from indie-pop to folk-rock with a touch of alt-country.

Drawing on his experience in the Americana folk duo Jupiter and Teardrop, he crafts engaging stories through his music. He also touches on love, uncertainty and everything that makes country music so engaging. With his debut EP, he has you feeling positive about second chances and the experiences that make us who we are.

The EP opens with the title track ‘Second Chances’ that explores exactly what the name suggests. From the first moment, Harvey’s vocals pull you into the rather melancholic story of realising that you have made a mistake and having it haunt you. The light tones of the melody form a springboard for his folky pop vocals to call out against. There is a rather deep question resting in the engaging tones of the melody. This is woven into the pleading of his performance that hits on a relatable feeling that most people can connect with.

‘Your Truck My Trailer’ has a different vibe to the music with a deep line that warbles into your brain and hooks into your senses. The lyrics draw on some of the cliches of country music to tell the almost light-hearted tale of the song. Through the song, Harvey balances vulnerability with optimism and sincerity. It is really wonderful as he offers a helping hand to someone while letting out his own vulnerability and insecurity.

The tender piano opening of ‘My Love’ grips your heart and threatens to squeeze all your emotions out of it. This song picks up a thread from the opening track as you look to change a mistake you have made. The high tones of his vocal performance stab at your chest while the guitar picks up the emotional hit and has you really riding the sadness woven into the music. The song makes you think of grey days with cold rain and the feeling that what you want is on the other side of a window and you can’t reach it.

‘Someday’ has a really rich feeling to the opening as you are sent floating on the movements of the melody. Inspired by the 2019 documentary ‘Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love’, Harvey brings a deep love tinged with uncertainty to your ears. His vocals are steeped in affection and a bone-deep love for someone. This is tempered by the uncertainty of not knowing when the person will come back into your life. The interplay of these emotions is rather bittersweet and this is brought to sonic glory with a mastery that is utterly delightful to listen to.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Let’s Do It’ which was Harvey’s debut track. The strummed tones get your attention and roll you into the toe-tapping beat of the drum. There is a light feeling to this song that is a wonderful contrast to the bittersweet tones of the last. Without any effort, the track is able to put a smile on your face and fill you with warm emotions. The organ is a wonderful addition to the folk-rock melody that makes you think about open roads and carefree happiness with someone you love.

John Harvey rolls through your ears with the tracks of Second Chances while showcasing just what he has to offer. Each song has a distinct feeling while carrying the common theme of second chances and optimism. While some tracks have a sadness woven into their core, they are all tinged with a light feeling of optimism for the future.

Find out more about John Harvey on his website, Instagram and Spotify.

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