14 Dec 2018
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Vince Harder - EP Review: Colours

15 Aug 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

Vince Harder has had a great impact on the entertainment industry in Australia to date, performing on many occasions with Australian Idol Guy Sebastian, coming third in their X-Factor series, and performing in theatre roles, such as Simba in the Lion King live production. His influence has been ever-present in the New Zealand music scene, working as a producer and songwriter, and this latest release, Colours, is one of his own works.

The six-track EP starts off with the titular track, Colours. Opening with some soft flowing keys, and a straightforward beat, the track has a solid structure with a lot of layers to create an in-depth soundscape. There are even some short guitar accents that are reminiscent of the chorus to Spandau Ballet’s True. 

While I personally am not a fan of the use of auto-tune and excessive vocal effects, especially in R&B and Soul genre music where the vocals are the focal point of the track, it fits in well with the overall digital sound of the track. Harder creates a rolling of the lyrics which flows smoothly across the lips and adds to the organic rhythm of the song.

Following into Good Love, the tempo changes with a funkier beat and more guitar-centric sound. There is a solid build before a brief instrumental pause introduces the key in the choral progression. There is an innate sense of positivity and enthusiasm in his music, with a nice piano backing ambience that vibes like Massive Attack’s Teardrop and will create quite the drop if performed live with a hefty bass setup.

Keeping with the happy atmosphere, Sugar Coated, feels like something out of Six60’s books. The track is light and bubbly, and a repeated choral line that will no doubt be a crowd pleaser and have them singing along. The lightness, however, does leave the song feeling slightly empty, like elements are missing, that depth of sound misplaced. But it does have the added benefit that it can be played on a large number of smaller devices without too much of a degradation of sound. Whether Bluetooth speakers, or stock car stereos, this track is ideal for those road trips and summer days at the beach.

Vince Harder has a smooth voice, and has no issues making full use of his vocal range, hitting the high notes with some tremolo and vibrato vocal work. At the halfway point, the EP starts to shift in vibe. Not Gonna Let Go does make the most of its central position in the track listing utilizing some brass, a group of instruments that is eponymous with passion, energy and good times.

The Sweetest Vibe is one of the more tranquil tracks of the EP; the slower pace interestingly still utilizes the brass section but has more of a lounge vibe to it. Providing nice vocal melodies, there is an Usher-esque quality to the songs, with a highly enjoyable voice and strong production values. There’s definitely an obvious romantic quality to the lyrical content; if this track doesn’t lead to the creation of the next generation of New Zealand’s population, I don’t know what will.

The EP ends on Vintage Blue; another more subtle track. The entire latter half of the EP has a different vibe, as if the first three tracks represent those weekend days getting out having fun, and the following three tracks follow on into the evenings, where the mood has changed, and the focus moves from having fun with friends to spending quality time with your significant other in front of a fire. The track does feels like it ends rather abruptly though, or as if there should be a 7th track afterwards.

Overall, a reasonably solid release. While it lacks a true hook to draw you in again and again, the release has a positive vibe that amps you up, and leaves you feeling warm and content.


Review written by Alex Moulton

 

About Vince Harder

Vince Harder needs no introduction. He is after all, the voice behind one of the biggest songs to come out of New Zealand in the last five years.

His collaborative hit with P Money, 'Everything', soared to number one in the Kiwi charts in 2008 and received extensive airplay in Australia. The following year the single made its mark in Britain when it was named Record of the Week on the notable BBC Radio 1.

Now, having honed his individual sound in the studio, Harder is back with his self-produced, debut solo album The Space Between Us.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Vince Harder

Releases

Colours
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Rare Vision
Year: 2015
Type: EP
The Space Between Us
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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