Inbox Jukebox Presents: Corey Harper’s New EP ‘Overcast’

By | June 26, 2020 at 10:45 AM
Photo credit: Jarrett Juarez

Sometimes music meets you where you are, sometimes songs become a diary for moments and memories you share with an artist (even though you’ve never met). You feel their songs with such clarity they become your songs too. 

Singer/songwriter Corey Harper makes music like that. You immediately connect to it. You find yourself transported by the strum of his guitar, wrapped up in the smoke of his voice, and floating on the feelings he communicates so well. 

“This EP is about uncertain times. It’s music to help me find myself and hoping I can leave a trail for others to do the same. It’s music that guides people through tough times and out of the fog, or out of the overcast,” Harper told us.

Overcast begins with a hymn-phonic intro of the same name, which flows directly into the quietly anthemic “Entertainment”. That’s when it becomes urgent. “I’m falling apart and it’s painless, I dance in the dark and I hate it, so sick of the entertainment…” The track kicks off like a ballad but there’s a sense of anticipation in the energy of the vocals and instrumentation. It pays off too. The song blossoms like fireworks in a soft velvet sky.

Harper’s musical diary is written in soulful indie rock, the kind of music that goes pop on the charts. “Fade to Black” is about struggling through addiction with someone you love but (as we said) the music meets you where you are, and you can connect to this gently pop-punk rock tune in so many ways. “I know I should call my brother back, afraid of anything that makes me sad, they say that we all just fade to black, but it already feels like that…”

“This EP is about uncertain times. It’s music to help me find myself and hoping I can leave a trail for others to do the same. It’s music that guides people through tough times and out of the fog, or out of the overcast.” 

“Crave” is up next and it hits like a tour stop at a roadside juke joint. The song shows shades of the blues, like B.B. King gave it an inspirational thumbs up and Corey Harper nodded back. “Pinball” changes directions, making a slowly looping u-turn into a wistfully acoustic moment of reflection. It’s chilled out and lovely. 

At this point you realize you’re on a sonic train ride. That’s why you felt transported from the start. Each song is a train car with its own vibe and yet they all fit together seamlessly. Harper confirms this journey into the inner self when he says, “This is the first time I’ve ever co-produced my own music. The songs on this EP are really personal to me and it felt like I needed to be hands on with every song. I made this with my good friend, co-writer, and co-producer Lubben at his studio just outside of Portland.”

Before the instrumental outro, Harper seems to enter your space and sing directly for you alone. You imagine him sitting on the chair beside you, a guy and his guitar. You hear the space in the room, which somehow makes the experience of “25” more intimate. And “25” is personal—this is a ballad to a brother lost and all the wishes for what might’ve been that come along with it. If only he had made it past the age of twenty-five. If only we’d had more time together, it would’ve been better. All those emotions are enclosed within this song and Corey Harper makes them tangible. You can hold them in your hand and carry them along with you for comfort. 

Don’t you just love that? You’ll probably love Overcast too.

Fun Fact About Overcast:

“There’s a song called “Pinball” on this EP that is literally about a game of pinball… kind of. Throughout the recording process, and multiple trips to Lubben’s studio in the past, I’ve been battling for the high score on the famous Rocky and Bullwinkle pinball machine in the vocal booth. On the day we wrote this song, I had come within the sights of the score held by the legendary former Portland Trail Blazer Luke Babbitt, and lost my last ball that was certainly going to bring me to the record and beyond. I was devastated, I had this crushing feeling for hours after and it helped me get to a place where I was able to find words for a time in my life where I’ve felt a similar feeling… but we’ll say it’s about a pinball machine.”

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