HAARM’s Jen, Chris and Olly unpack some of the influences that underpin their debut EP Better Friend, which features the title track for BT Sport’s Premier League coverage for 2018.
Mistaken For Strangers
It’s really old now this song, but it’s one I always come back to. I remember when I heard it for the first time in Le Bateau when it was released and I obsessed about it for ages.
It’s got this real sense of urgency throughout the whole song and I love that line, ‘You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends’, it’s really bleak but definitely I’ve related to in the past when I’m feeling down and a bit paranoid.
The way Matt Berninger delivers his vocals in general has had a very obvious influence on us. Really relaxed, understated, almost spoken as opposed to sung. He sounds like he has a certain degree of dignity about himself that I wish I had. The drumming in this track is great, almost breakbeat – some really furious fills in the chorus. It’s just brilliant – I listen to it regularly now and it sounds especially great after a load of red wine. CM
“Awaken, My Love!”
As soon as I heard this record it made an immediate impact. When it came out last year I was doing a lot of running so I would listen to it on repeat in my headphones and I really absorbed each track. It was great, it’s hip-hop but it’s full of big Black Sabbath style riffs, gospel singers, electronica – it’s absolutely packed with ideas and each song is different from the last yet still really works as a body of work. When we were writing Better Friend, we basically said we wanted that chant to be like something you would hear on this record. We landed somewhere between that and the song Little April Showers from Bambi. It’s creepy. Or maybe it’s not that creepy but chanty gang vocals like that from the 1930s and 40s just really scares me for some reason. CM
When this first came out I was like ‘Woah, wtf is this!?’ It was the first time I’d listened to a full record straight through start to finish in ages and it had me so captivated. I was listening to it a lot again during the recording of our most recent EP. It’s magnificently wild but still full of pop hooks, and you just feel like your stepping in to his weird and wonderful brain. JD
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds + Kylie Minogue
Where The Wild Roses Grow
I finally got around to watching Peaky Blinders recently and the title music by Nick Cave made me revisit some of his work. I remembered this duet he did with Kylie and listened to it on repeat. I love the juxtaposition of the rough texture of his vocal with the lightness and mystique of hers. Plus, I’m obsessed with the painting Ophelia which was the inspiration for the music video and artwork. JD
The Alan Parsons Project
I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You
I first heard this track whilst watching Mind Hunter on Netflix and have been playing it non-stop ever since. The lyrics are a very direct personal conversation and I feel with HAARM we tend to do something similar, especially in the our latest work. Also it’s just a massive tune with a proper contagious groove. OG
There are so many great tracks on this album, a favourite being ‘extreme ways’ and feels like it’s often overlooked compared to Play. You can definitely hear a Moby influence in our stuff, especially in the loopy beats with soft vocals. OG
Better Friend is released in October. Listen to I Believe It Now below, the track that will be soundtracking BT Sport’s Premier League coverage for the 2018-19 season.