2016 EP Happy Now? is available on most streaming services and online platforms. You’ll find it on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play and Bandcamp among others, and you can use the widget on the left to listen to it.
The five track EP was recorded in 2016 at Bell Street Wanganui, with help from saxophonist Gdaliy Garmiza (Be Your Rock) and backing vocalist Sophie Wham (Brokenhearted). When purchased on Bandcamp, Happy Now? comes with a bonus track: Demons of America.
For the last few years I’ve used Reaper, which is a magnificent piece of software. But I was finding that far too much studio time was focused on the software or the hardware, and not enough on actually playing and singing. So I started 2016 with a BOSS BR1600 digital recorder, wanting to find out whether a simpler recording process would unblock my creative juices. The BR1600 is an all-in-one digital recorder; it offers high audio quality and superlative ease of use. With only a small learning curve I was away, happy in my work; it’s a shame Roland no longer produces anything comparable. By mid-year I had two of these “old tin boxes” synced together and a few accessories to go with them. By October I realised I’d recorded enough tracks I was sufficiently happy with to consider releasing an EP, and here we are.
There are two older songs on the EP. Be Your Rock was written in 2011, and Brokenhearted dates all the way back to 1978 – you can hear the original lo-fi demo (recorded in 1980) on this retrospective. The other three tracks were written during 2016. As is usually the case, they were written in my head before I went near an instrument. On this occasion that’s worked out well.
I bought a new alto saxophone during the year, intending to record the sax riffs on Be Your Rock myself. I did a first take the day the sax arrived – before my lip was even slightly ready – and ended up unable to play without pain for a few days. Thankfully Gdaliy was able to pitch in, and he did a much better job than I would have managed. I’d seen Sophie and a friend busking around Wanganui and asked if they’d pitch in some backing vocals. Sophie helped me out on Brokenhearted and really added something to the sound.
Happy Now? is full of memorable melodies, catchy hooks, and some really great songwriting. Leigh’s ability to get into your head, make your body move and leave you singing the choruses over and over is what makes great music…well, GREAT music!
· Josh Smotherman on MTM – Read the full EP review
There is someone waiting for you & trust me it is no lie; it is actually true. The name is Leigh Harrison and the person attached to this name is waiting for your ears to arrive at the humble abode of at first hippy-friendly music.
· YIKIS – read the full EP review
“Happy Now” a collection of 5 songs is interesting in it’s variety, it’s flute and it’s lyrics. Listen to Leigh’s songs and be sure to check out all of her art on her website “ELSE“.
· Music Arts Monthly
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Haven’t heard chamber pop as twee as this for a number of months and the innocence with which it is dispatched is quite disarming. Delicate doesn’t always mean cherishable however but Leigh manages to achieve both with really nice vocal layering and background cooing. And that flute had me thinking of long forgotten Hull band Salako who I still have a soft spot for. I wanted more of those close harmonies but this is still a really sweet tune.
· mp3hugger review of “Waiting for You”
The vocals are certainly interesting on here, the flute adds a whimsical touch.
· Abduction Radiation feedback on “Waiting for You”
Vocals have a sweet nostalgic vibe.
· Obscure Sound feedback on “Waiting for You”
I liked the mellow vibe of the track.
· Digital Tour Bus feedback on “Waiting for You”
This has a cool irreverent vibe.
· Wake the Deaf feedback on “Waiting for You”
The voice is good and soothing …
· Wolf in a Suit feedback on “Waiting for You”
Really nice flute part …
· Djolo feedback on “Waiting for You”
Strong songwriting here with plenty of personality to it … definitely an audience for this.
· Crack in the Road feedback on “Waiting for You”
Lovely vocals, particularly on the harmonised sections …
· Cougar Microbes feedback on “Waiting for You”
Hey it’s Christmas so how about some sweet indie pop in the Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci vein?
· mp3hugger feedback on “Waiting for You”
I would have to say that this is a quirky and satisfying listen. The words mean something too which means a lot. New Zealand is adept at artists and productions such as this so keep the home fires burning but not too close to that equipment in the backroom. Happy Christmas.
· mp3hugger feedback on “Brokenhearted”
Love the vocals and the guitar tone …
· Pop Occulture feedback on “Brokenhearted”
Good alternative melody in this one …
· Dansende Beren feedback on “Brokenhearted”
Seamless transitions stood out. Promising sound.
· Obscure Sound feedback on “Brokenhearted”
The instrumentation and the vocals are good …
· Abduction Radiation feedback on “Brokenhearted”
There’s a cool energy and flow here, and the vocals are a good fit …
· Wake the Deaf feedback on “Brokenhearted”
Nice vintage-y feel …
· Cougar Microbes feedback on “Brokenhearted”
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This track definitely has a unique sound to it that caught my attention …
· Digital Tour Bus feedback on “Everything is Love”
I like the lryics in this, it’s a unique song which is cool …
· Utopian Sounds feedback on “Everything is Love”
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Spacey atmosphere is well developed …
· Obscure Sound feedback on “Happy Now”
This has a nice feel to it and i appreciate the vision …
· Utopian Sounds feedback on “Happy Now”
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Nice song …
· Chrome Music feedback on “Be Your Rock”
Some cool alternative pop song Leigh Harrison …
· Dansende Beren feedback on “Be Your Rock”
Really interesting sound …
· Purple Melon Music feedback on “Be Your Rock”