Interview: Harrison Storm – “I Tend To Write From A Place That Is Quite Transparent”
Following the release of his debut album Wonder, Won’t You?, via Nettwerk, Harrison Storm emerged with a narrative steeped in introspection and raw emotion. Storm offers listeners more than just songs; he extends an invitation to journey through the depths of human experience alongside him.
From the streets of Melbourne to international stages, Harrison Storm‘s musical voyage has been one of profound growth and connection. His latest work, produced with Dustin Tebbutt, encapsulates a journey of self-discovery and reflection, set against the backdrop of a cozy studio in Melbourne. Wonder, Won’t You? is a collection of ten songs that delve into love, loneliness, and the quest for inner peace.
Prior to the release of his debut album, Recordspin caught up with Harrison Storm to discuss the emotions surrounding Wonder, Won’t You?, his evolution as an artist, and the personal stories that shaped his music. This is what he had to say at the time:
Harrison, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. With your debut album, Wonder, Won’t You?, what emotions are you experiencing?
I’ve been releasing music for a while now so any sort of expectations I have around releases are pretty neutral these days. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I really hope people connect with these songs and can connect with them in some way! I just don’t put any pressure on the songs to be received in any particular way. That’s up for the listeners to decide, of course!
From the streets of Melbourne to the debut release of Wonder, Won’t You?, your path in music has been quite the journey. How has this transition from a busker to a recording artist shaped your artistic vision?
I feel the biggest change is I am not as much at the mercy of a song idea these days as I once was when I started. The intention to sit down and have the time and space to do so, which is an absolute luxury, is something I try my best not to take for granted. The thing I do miss about busking though is the absolute uncertainty of your day. You never knew who you were going to meet or what was going to happen, and from those chance encounters, which way your days/weeks or months could take a slightly unusual turn. Now my days are quite predictable, so to dig deeper into myself artistically, I have to be far more conscious and intentional. Which can be tough some days but overall feels to produce art that is more meaningful to me.
Your latest single “Tomorrow” speaks to finding balance amid life’s chaos. Can you share the personal experiences or inspirations behind this track?
This song was written at a time when I was feeling very aware and at odds with certain toxic elements of culture and the things we classify as normal inside society. Entertainment, social media, politics and our relationship to climate change etc. I felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane trying to find my place and how I felt about life in general. It’s obviously important to investigate these topics for yourself but equally important to find a place you feel safe in in order to process your findings and feelings.
Wonder, Won’t You? is described as a culmination of several life experiences. Could you give us some insight into how these experiences influenced the narrative and themes of the album?
I mean, largely the songs are relating to how I experience myself and finding security and safety in how I feel and view the world and how specific relationships have helped me along the way. Some of the songs feel very personal, journal entry type songs that are quite literally me documenting moments in time. I have been very lucky to have people in my life that I’ve connected with deeply and who can see me for who I am artistically and personally and have nurtured parts of me that really need it.
In your press releases, it has been shared how music has served as a therapeutic outlet for you. How do you hope your songs will resonate with listeners who may be facing similar challenges?
I tend to write from a place that is quite transparent with how I am feeling at that moment. And a lot of the time when I am feeling a sense of discomfort or confusion with a particular emotion, I find it helpful to play the guitar and sing to release that emotion and to turn it into a song. I think that listeners can sense the humanness of emotion that is conveyed and perhaps not feel alone in the experiences they are going through. It has been quite interesting having people communicate their connection to songs of mine and being able to directly interpret my circumstance from which I wrote the song in. Even when my lyrics can be quite metaphorical. I think that speaks to the power of music to connect people.
Growing up, artists like City and Colour, Angus Stone, and Jeff Buckley have been shared as significant influences for you. How are their styles and messages reflected in your music, especially in this debut release?
Generally speaking, I was interested in these artists because of the vulnerability they shared within their melodies and lyrics. The sensitivity to certain emotions and the way they saw the world was something I wasn’t experiencing in my day to day life. Every time I felt closed off from the world and disconnected in some way, listening to their music would help me open up. I feel my debut release is hugely inspired by this concept and I hope people can have similar experiences to my songs as I have had to these artists.
With part of the album’s proceeds supporting the Surfrider Foundation Australia, could you tell us more about your connection to this cause and its significance to you?
Growing up right near a beautiful beach, I’ve been surrounded and connected to nature and the ocean since I was a child. My father is a surfer and taught me to surf from a very young age. Since I can remember, our holidays with my family involved camping trips to places where we could surf and play in the ocean. I have a deep appreciation and acknowledgement of the role the ocean plays in people’s lives and the importance in protecting it for its own sake, as well as for the sake of generations to come. Surfrider Foundation Australia is an amazing organisation whose goal is exactly that. To be supporting them is something that I’m very proud to do.
Finally, as you reflect on your own musical journey, are there any particular songs, EPs, or albums from other artists that you’ve been drawn to recently for inspiration or solace?
I’ve listened to a lot of Gregory Alan Isakov, especially his album Evening Machines. I’ve loved Asgier and his album Time On My Hands and the most recent albums from Ben Howard. The work of Phoebe Bridgers, Billie Marten, Ry X, Nick Mulvey and Tamino are also highly inspirational for me.
Harrison Storm is set to bring his deeply introspective and emotive music to audiences across Australia, UK/EU, and North America, with several sold-out shows already marking the success of his heartfelt performances.
Harrison Storm 2024 Tour Dates
22nd February – Sydney – The Lansdowne
24th February – Melbourne – Howler
1st March – Brisbane – Valley Loft
8th March – Adelaide – The Wheatsheaf
9th March – Perth – Mojo’s
13th April – Berlin – Practwerk SOLD OUT
15th April – Amsterdam – Cinetol SOLD OUT
17th April – London – St Pancras Old Church SOLD OUT
22nd April – Montreal QC – La Sotterenea
23rd April – Toronto – The Drake Hotel
24th April – New York – Mercury Lounge
26th April – Los Angeles – Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever