On his new album The Fumes, Danish singer/songwriter Kristian Harting uses the lens of uniquely textured avant-garde folk music to explore the experience of living through some of the struggles of our modern age. Listen for the first time exclusively below to the title track off the record, which lyrically bemoans the dangerous allure of the exploitation-driven system that keeps so many people attached, even while the hurt piles up.
Musically, this song hinges on Harting’s intricate, shimmering, plucked guitar melodies and clear but passionately dynamic singing, but from there, the song also includes deeply resonant, apparently bass and keys-driven atmosphere. The music feels like passionate folk with a twist towards post-rock and shoegaze and related styles thanks to those effects.
Calling the song his “bitchy rant on capitalism,” Harting explains his thinking:
“The fumes are the easy thrills that help us make it through the day in the consumerist circus of money and status, power and pleasure. It’s the short term happiness by quick shots of endorphins that blur how the circus is devouring humans and nature and isolate us from each other while pretending the opposite. It’s the feeling of knowing we are heading for disaster and all we can do is to abuse and ignore ourselves to enjoy the ride.
“The Fumes are this glittery circus pushed on us to ignore how democracies are being undermined by tax-avoiding, polluting, war-making major industries filling our food, houses, air and water with shit. Undermining human rights and people power, making the few disgustingly rich and letting more and more people into the misery of war, shitty working conditions and environmental disaster. I think capitalism is moving towards becoming a totalitarian system without real alternatives. We are heading towards a new feudalism and the lords are the oil, weapons, and financial industries perfectly helped by the major internet players. What are we doing about it? What can we do?”
It’s a poignant message, which comes across perfectly thanks to the delicately intertwined but powerfully forward dynamics of Harting’s new song. He doesn’t include an overwhelming volley of sound, but every note and lyric thereby get a chance to really jump out and stick.
Harting’s full third album The Fumes releases on January 24 via Exile on Mainstream, who are making the album available digitally and on vinyl with a CD included. Pre-order the music at this link.
Photo via Asbjørn Sand
Listen to the song below!
Harting is touring soon, with stops including these:
- 4/22/2020 VEB – Siegen, DE w/ Darsombra
- 4/23/2020 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE w/ Darsombra
- 4/24/2020 Zukunft am Ostkreuz – Berlin, DE w/ Darsombra
- 4/25/2020 Chemiefabrik – Dresden, DE w/ Darsombra
- 4/30/2020 Punctum – Prague, CZ w/ Darsombra
- 5/02/2020 Soul Kostel – Vernéřovice, CZ w/ Darsombra
- 5/03/2020 Kapu – Linz, AT w/ Jarboe, Darsombra
- 5/04/2020 Grillx – Vienna, AT w/ Darsombra
- 5/06/2020 Galerie Kur – Zürich, CH w/ Darsombra
- 5/10/2020 MCP Apache – Fontaine-l’Évêque, BE w/ Darsombra