Harmoos – All the Learning 8.0
Harmoos surprises. ‘All the Learning’ possesses a gritty charm. The lo-fi style is complimented by Harmoos’ ability to tastefully incorporate influences from classical and noise. Elements of classical, noise, and outright humor are strewn across these twelve tracks. Deep listening is required. More than a few times other lonely weird artists come to mind, such as Chris Weisman’s outsider work.
This does feel strange. Coming into the album is entering the mind of Will Henriksen. For the first two songs the mood is rather mournful. ‘I’m made up’ has Harmoos break out of his positive restrained tone. Prepare for the sudden bolt into higher volumes. Merely waiting for it is a true joy as Will mutters incoherently over it. ‘And Then’, an album highlight, is a beautiful piece bringing to mind the best in outsider work. A violin simply brings that feeling home. ‘All the Learning’ the centerpiece of the album possesses both the tender sweetness of the previous tracks with the warmth of the sillier tracks. On here Will sounds remarkably similar to R. Stevie Moore at his most vulnerable. This is perhaps the best example of the power behind such a simple method.
By the end it appears to drift off into space. The selection goes from extreme noise on ‘Spring’ to a drunken waltz on ‘Mindet (the Memory)’. While the album mixes these diverse approaches and styles it remains in its own little world. Yes this world may be contradictory at times but this is close to being a living, breathing album. It teems with the life of the confused.