29 Sep 2022
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Harry Hodgman - EP Review: Puzzle

01 Nov 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie

Harry Hodgman plays the piano. He sings a little as well, a bit like Rufus Wainwright or Perfume Genius. But the piano is his weapon as much as a conveyor of melody. And Harry purveys as well as plays.

Back in 2018, at least a hundred years ago, Harry popped in to the Wellington Art Gallery and played the Michael Parekowhai Steinway, and now that music is released as a six track EP, called Puzzle.

Puzzle is a delightful tune which ebbs and flows around a simple construct but more importantly introduces Harry’s style, (no pun goes unpunished), as quirky, jumpy and occasionally offbeat. Imperfection is his mantra, compelling is the result. Puzzle the enigma. And therefore we next get some Clarity which is more sombre, but elusive in its change of pace.

In the City Art Gallery stands a Steinway encased in an extraordinary Parekowhai sculpture. Like looking at a cadaver from which emanates piano’s sweet tones. And it’s on this piano that Harry plays Apothecary, ancient medicine for tortured souls and a flourish to end.

The tone shifts and accelerates and off we go in ragged pursuit of an Airport Bomb. Joplin-esque, but only a hint. And while Astrophotographie takes us back into more contemplative French observatory mode, we bounce back with The Mailman which completes the transition to ragtime leaving us astonished and breathless: Mailing an Airport Bomb to the galaxy, just as you might find it a bit unnerving to sit down to a feast of ivory, so be comforted. Puzzle is short and sweet, a little snack as opposed to a smorgasbord, and thus pleasing to the palate.

Harry Hodgman rides his motorbike from town to town and busks and plays. Who knows, you might see his piano trundling along behind, not the Parekowhai, but something more towable.

And if you can’t see him play, you can listen to the puzzle which is Harry, on Spotify for free, on Bandcamp for $1, but go on, don’t be shy, it’s worth at least $10 !!

Harry Hodgman, Puzzle, out today!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Harry Hodgman

Harry Hodgman is a Kiwi piano playing singer-songwriter.

Harry is a unique contributor to the NZ music scene with his original songs and instrumentals. He has published two original songbooks for piano & voice, and is currently writing a third. A scarce amount of venues in Wellington and throughout New Zealand have pianos in-house, since lockdown of 2020 he has developed a growing online audience via Instagram Livestreams, playing his solo original music.

His songs vary from fictional characters and stories to political and biographical commentaries. Harry is becoming an established artist both as a New Zealand songwriter and as a queer artist. He performed for the Dunedin Pride festival in 2014, played as support for Flip Grater, and has been recognised by acclaimed singer-songwriter, Rufus Wainwright. He improvised a solo tour from Tokyo to Western Europe in 2016, before returning to New Zealand, living between Dunedin, Wellington, and Melbourne, Australia.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Harry Hodgman

Releases

Puzzle
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Bed Tundy
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Surreal Estate
Year: 2020
Type: EP
C A K E
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Quietude Etude Dude
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Meanwhile
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Comme la Lune
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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