Music has always been a huge part of the singer born Daniela Krause but better known as Harlean Palfrey’s life. She spent much of her childhood performing in choirs, even receiving professional vocal mentoring from a former opera singer. A fiercely independent artist, she spent fourteen years in corporate jobs before making the leap to being a professional musician in August 2019. Based in Galway, Ireland, the singer-songwriter is classically trained as a professional Alto (E Minor) and inspired by artists like Lana Del Rey, The Pretty Reckless, Evanescence. She is currently promoting her album “Twists of L”.
It blew my mind with how Harlean Palfrey’s has really captured the pop and rock aesthetic that wouldn’t have felt out of place during any decade where any of these genres were at an all-time high. And yet, it still feels like it fits in today’s musical climate, which very few modern artists can truly boast. My feeling is that Harlean displays a confidence that is born from both her natural enthusiasm for her craft, and the knowledge that she is damn good at what she does.
“Twists of L” is proof positive of this, as Harlean Palfrey stretches her wings and provides a genuinely thrilling album that brings guitar-driven thunder and delicate piano-driven showers with equal class.
The opening track “Remember Runaway” brings things out in the open with a bang, as massive guitars and powerful vocals tear into the song with feral relish. Harlean’s pent-up emotions unleash as she stamps her authority.
“Dark Ideology”, introduces a slow suite of rich resonant strings and a reverberating piano, to construct a darker emotive backdrop on which, Harlean Palfrey lays her vocal magic that will capture your attention. It’s back to the thunder on the German language rock song “Schattenträume”.
Harlean Palfrey and her band, rock hard and brilliantly well, in the scattergun power, and superbly dynamic arrangements of the aforementioned song, but there is so much more than loud guitars and full throttle vocals to behold on this album.
These introspective moments all come to the surface form right about now, with “Faith is Base”. The guitars are there but more jangly and shimmering adding an extra dimension to a song dominated by Harlean’s thoughtful voice.
This mellower heartfelt aesthetic is again illustrated perfectly in the bluesy and chilled out likes of the woozy “Mind Buzz”, the perfectly constructed ebb and flow that builds to the pop-driven crescendo of the beautiful “Quatervois”, and the rolling piano notes of another German language track – “Meine Sieben”. Harlean closes the album with the stunning heartrending ballad, “Your Air”, which again showcases how comfortably she is singing atmospheric, emotion-filled songs.
The songs on “Twists of L” make for truly persuasive listening, enhanced by Harlean Palfrey all-embracing vocals, and balanced by the power of the instruments themselves. Varied, emotive, and self-assured, this album points the way to a continued upward trajectory that knows no limits for Harlean Palfrey – whose moniker, by the way, is inspired by the birth name of actress Jean Harlow and a worker council who revolutionized the saddle industry in the UK. A fascination combination.