Harrow Fair: Dark Gets Close
The dynamic Toronto roots duo returns with a cut showcasing strong vocal harmonies, crisp instrumental work, and a positive message.
By Kerry Doole
Harrow Fair: Dark Gets Close (Roaring Girl Records): On April 17, the rootsy duo of Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner release a sophomore album, Sins We Made.
Dark Gets Close is the second single, and it's a winner. Penner’s virile voice meshes perfectly with Mulholland’s pure folk delivery, and their instrumental work (guitar and fiddle respectively) is equally complementary on a tune with an optimistic bent (“even when the future isn’t clear… hope starts here”). The song captures their onstage energy, one that has made HF a favourite on the folk club and fest circuit, especially in the UK.
It has been four years since the 2016 debut Harrow Fair album, Call To Arms, but the two principals have been in demand for other projects. Mulholland has a parallel solo career, is an eloquent advocate for other artists, and runs her own festival. Mulholland was recently nominated for a Juno Award for Traditional Roots Album Of The Year with her 2019 solo album By Appointment Or Chance, while Penner (formerly with the superb Sunparlour Players) was recently music director and a star in Toronto's Crows Theatre's highly acclaimed production of Ghost Quartet.
In a press release, the pair explain that "After the spontaneity of the first record, we had to take a pause and figure out who we are to each other - as bandmates, friends, and co-writers. The song is a recognition of the difficult work any relationship can be but what can happen when you take that leap." It's great to see them back.
Harrow Fair celebrates the release of the album with a hometown Toronto show at The Dakota Tavern on April 18th. The duo then plays UK dates from May 1 to May 10, some in support of Lynne Hanson.