Devin Tuel - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Stephen Harms - Bass/Drums/Keys/Guitar
Devin Tuel has stopped veiling her life in poetic secrets.
Sorores, the songwriter’s second album as Native Harrow, is a 17 song confessional full of longing, sadness, joy, experience, loneliness, and storytelling gold which details the emotional journey of a lifetime. The album grows beyond where 2015’s Ghost left us and continues a journey inward and emerges as the artist’s most expansive and intimate work thus far. From the percolating bowed cellos and double basses and waves of chiming, shimmery electric guitars that open the album (“Gone”) a haunted longing is introduced. This is not a nostalgia for childhood but for a human connection that may only ever have existed in our expectation rather than in our experience. Tuel begins the story in mid conversation “I am expected to run things around this place, take it all in, make it better, never show your face.”
Native Harrow is Devin Tuel. However it would be remiss to say Sorores is the work of her alone. Stephen Harms, Tuel’s musical partner and bandmate, is her equal in building and fueling the machine that is Native Harrow. From concept, to production, and live performance, together the two created a world in which Sorores could come to life floating in on a drone. To make Sorores the pair decamped to various friends’ houses up and down the East Coast and in Nashville where they would record, produce, and engineer Sorores alone.
Imbued with her dual personality of indie queen and laurel canyon lady, Sorores finds Tuel flirting and floating between genres. The acoustic sounds that once defined Native Harrow have dissolved to the background and made way for a more upbeat, electric palette. At various points throughout the album, the drone of string glissandi, howls of slide guitars, and thunder of low pitched drums rumble in the distance and circle the doors of a great hall where songs of longing, of hurt, of love, and of growth are told around the roar of a fire. Fingerpicked ballads like “Chelsea” and “Your Love”, underpinned with the soft hum of overdriven Rhodes, give way to sruti drones and sitar solos on the Indian inspired “India Dark Thirty” and the dumbek and santur-style dulcimer of the Persian-by-way-of-the-Hudson-River track “Hudson”. Jazz guitar and Hammond B3 populate tracks like “For Nothing” and “Chelsea” while “How Long” brings a wall of slide guitars and an army of cellos to flesh out the open tuned acoustic, double bass, and drums that drive much of the album. The bowed double bass that underpins “Too Many Troubles” lights up the fiery “Suzanne From The City” while “Book Of Tongues” and “An Ending, A Part” drop the acoustic guitars and bass entirely in favor of rattling overdriven electric guitars and funky, palm muted electric bass. Following the atmospheric sounds of chirping birds and summer breeze, “Like The Muse” is propelled by high flying melodic electric bass while the 8 minute “Let Be” drops in and out of a psychedelic haze of sinewy snake-like guitar and desert hand drums.
“The songs of Sorores reflect changes of heart, growth of soul, struggles in my hunt to find life’s magic, and my exploration of the vast world of sounds. This Latin word for ‘sisters’ has resounded in and from me throughout the writing and recording process and, I feel, captures the essence of this album.”