I’m never one to delve into the beautiful intricacies of soul and the world before it. But when I heard snippets of Curtis Harding performing at BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Cardiff last weekend, I was hooked.
Such artists like Curtis Harding are hard to come by. Emotive storytelling swamped in soul, Michigan-born singer-songwriter Curtis Harding is a true art of fluidity.
His latest delivery, If Words Were Flowers, plays homage to those loved ones lost throughout the years with Harding’s mother playing such a significant part in the instrumentalists’ reprisal into the world of writing music as it was his mothers’ words that struck a chord with him most throughout the years: …
“Give me my flowers while I’m still here.”
The 11-track collection is a melodic triumph succeeding in both the art of soulful music and trailblazing the genre into the unaware. My favourites are of course, the staples of Can’t Hide It and I Won’t Let You Down that push this album into a certified classic for the ages. Derived from this “slop n soul” style, Harding is anything but sloppy. Clean, intricate guitar layerings with a chilling soulful voice to match, carries the influence of many a-genre including blues, gospel, psychedelia, R&B and rock.
Eclipsing what soul is all about, Harding has been finding peace and comfort within his music all his life. The third outing of his just shows that he has more love to share, if anything. Although certainly more laid-back than his neo-funk/soul hybrids of Soul Power and Face Your Fear in 2015 and 2017, I much prefer his approach in If Words Were Flowers as it truly reflects the unabridged feeling of what everyone else is feeling, certainly after losing a loved one during such hurtful times during the pandemic.
If Words Were Flowers
Can’t Hide It
Where’s The Love
It’s A Wonder
I Won’t Let You Down
“What if one day love couldn’t be found?
You search the highest mountain, even looked underground
You couldn’t quite prove it as a natural fact
It just up and vanished with no sign of coming back” – Where’s The Love?