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Band & Musician News - Kiwi icon Debbie Harwood releases EP 'The Sun'

Kiwi icon Debbie Harwood releases EP 'The Sun'

11 October 2019 - 0 Comments

One of New Zealand’s most beloved voices, multi award winning tour-de-forces, and industry stalwarts Debbie Harwood is proud to share her debut release, The Sun. The EP is out today and available on all streaming platforms.

Listen to The Sun, available on all streaming platforms: Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes

Harwood has lent her voice and production skills to countless solo projects and recordings over the last 40 years, along with her legendary work as one fifth of When The Cat's Away. Despite her lengthy career in original bands and integral contributions to the Kiwi pop canon, The Sun is Harwood’s first solo release of original music.

“Writing a song in the middle of the night while the children slept; walking on a stage on a freezing night in a small grateful NZ town and the music flying; rehearsing over cups of tea in a dingy flat; spending months in the studio day and night building up the beautiful strands of songs that started as dreams; breathing my voice onto the genius songs of others both live and in a studio – that is the life I have lived. Almost a secret world. But those moments are hard things to write about or quantify because they have no markers – no evidence, nothing a human mind can grasp or understand. So everyone focuses on awards and chart placements and numbers but none of those things matter at all to me. Everything good about the making of music (and my life in it) has been the firefly moments of pure bliss that will never happen again. The Sun is a little piece of evidence that those myriad moments existed,” says Harwood.

Enter The Sun; a five-track opus penned by Harwood over the last decade, and finally realised in the studio with the presence of long-time collaborators Gary Veberne, Anthony Grey, Gail Tipene, Hayden Wharewaka, Brinne Nepia and Stephen Small. The project was produced by award-winning producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, John Cale) and engineered by Scott Seabright between Roundhead Studios and Studio 509 in Auckland, before mixing by Clint Murphy in England and mastering in Nashville with Ryan Smith of Sterling Sound. This is Debbie’s most recent music release since her 2006 jazz album, Soothe Me for which she was a finalist at the Vodafone NZ Music Awards for Best Female Artist.

While being the wearer of multiple industry hats, Harwood has always been a solo artist and songwriter first and foremost, and over her prolific 40 year career, has penned a private songbook that is finally seeing the light of day. The release of The Sun comes with a sense of relief and excitement for the Hawkes Bay born artist.

With music always being the constant driving force, Harwood’s long career in the industry as an artist ran parallel with tour management, management and independent record company roles (alongside Mike Chunn at Mushroom NZ) for many successful NZ acts including DD Smash, The Exponents, Citizen Band, Big Sideways and Blam Blam Blam to name a few.

A major turning point would come on a chance meeting between four young wahine toa at the 1985 NZ Music Awards - Harwood, Annie Crummer, Margeret Urlich and Dianne Swann. With the addition of Kim Willoughby the rest was her-story. In 1986, When The Cat’s Away would become New Zealand’s biggest touring act playing to packed-out crowds around the country, until 1990 saw them back on their respective solo paths.

When The Cat’s Away went on to receive ‘Top Group’ at the 1989 NZ Music Awards, achieved a #1 chart hit with Blue Mink’s Melting Pot and sold out seven national New Zealand tours including the legendary Melting Pot Tour (1988) which became the most attended tour for a Kiwi band - a title only recently usurped (some 30 years later) by Six60.

Following a move to Australia, Harwood would lend her signature smoky rock vocals to Jimmy Barnes' Soul Deep and Two Fire tours throughout 1990 to 1992. She had met her match.

In 2001 the reformed When The Cat’s Away undertook a sold-out New Zealand tour culminating in three shows at Auckland’s Aotea Centre where a new album Live In Paradise was recorded with dear friend Sharon O’Neill. The single Asian Paradise was another Top 10 radio hit and the album reached close to double platinum sales.

Follow Debbie at www.debbieharwood.co.nz for more news and show enquiries.

Photo credit Mareea Paterson


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