HARRISON ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM BIRDS, BEES, THE CLOUDS & THE TREES OUT APRIL 28 VIA LAST GANG/MNRK
SHARES NEW SINGLES
BUMP (WITH M.E.D. AND GUILTY SIMPSON)
ALONGSIDE INSTRUMENTAL INTHECOUPE
PRE-ORDER ALBUM HERE
“Harrison is a high-achieving polymath...
His work fuses synthetic beats with complex, jazz-like arrangements,
and on ‘Float,’ he distills these sounds into a smooth, delicate soul rhythm.”
– NPR Music (Now Playing – Float)
“…a chef's kiss of a downtempo R&B jam for a dreamy two-and-a-half minutes.”
– CBC Music (Songs You Need To Hear – Float)
“Bonet's ethereal vocals are appropriate for a song titled Float.
The Los Angeles-based R&B singe…glides effortlessly
over Harrison's bass and drums-driven production.”
– Exclaim! (Track Feature – Float)
TORONTO, ON – March 14, 2023 – Following a strong return with two new songs last month, JUNO, UK MVA + Prism Prize nominated Toronto producer and musical polymath, Harrison, continues to share fresh sounds. A sonic intro to Spring, Harrison releases new single, Bump - a dream collab with some of his heroes, M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson - alongside Inthecoupe, a revved-up instrumental ode to cruising in your custom whip. The tracks usher the announcement of Harrison's new album, Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees, out on April 28 via Last Gang Records/MNRK. Pre-order it here, and listen to Bump (featuring M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson) and Inthecoupe here.
Bump highlights verses from veteran emcees M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson, marking their first reunion since working on the 2006 J Dilla project, The Shining. Harrison's pivotal collab with the duo on this hip-hop heavy tune channels energies of J Dilla and Madlib, which influenced the duo's early Stones Throw careers. Opening the doors to Inthecoupe: inspired by Harrison's brief ownership of a 1991 BMW convertible with funk at the fore. Watch the visualizers, illustrated by Jeremy White, for Bump (featuring M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson) and Inthecoupe.
“Bump Is a love letter to some of my favourite rappers growing up. M.E.D. and Guilty have been huge influences on me since I was 16. Understanding their beat choices on producers they worked with was a really helpful growing tool. The instrumental for Bump was actually originally different. They found the pocket I was looking for on this new joint. I’m floored that they were kind enough to join me on this album," Harrison adds. “Inthecoupe is a reminder to myself to not be so serious all the time. My love for jazz is very deep but I still love making fun dance music. A playful song revolving around a brass synth and a bounce.”
Harrison’s innovative nature shines in Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees: a 16-track collection of songs that highlights his affinity and dedication to the piano, blended with strong grooves, classic and contemporary jazz ingredients, sharp verses and prose lined with Brazilian bossa, funk, old-school hip-hop and rhythmic texture. A deep dive into Harrison’s universe, exciting guest features include rising LA-based singer-songwriters Kadhja Bonet (Float), Nanna.B (Blue Sky), fellow Toronto artist TOBi (on 2022-relesed single, Outta This World), and the previously released instrumentals, Like When We Were Kids and Around You. Pre-order the album here.
The album taps into themes of awakening from daydreaming, impacts of solitude, odes to younger selves, emerging from dark moments, honouring family members that have passed, carefreeness and more. The songs incorporate an array of instrumentation including Farfisa keys, breakbeats and a music box that was gifted to Harrison, as highlighted in the song of its namesake. Harrison drew inspiration from cartoons such as Looney Tunes and Gumball to Vince Guaraldi soundtracks.
Previous single, Float, is a smooth downtempo tune with a grooving R&B bassline that saw love from NPR, Exclaim!, CBC Music and Consequence, among many others. As guest Kadhja Bonet sings of struggling to find oneself in absent love, the LA songstress' graceful vocals weave throughout this buoyant track. A View From The Sky highlights Harrison’s deep study of jazz and dedication to the piano, written during a moment of personal reclamation after a dark time.
To complement Harrison's artistic vision, he enlisted acclaimed illustrator, Elijah Anderson, and the design and animation of Jeremy White to craft single artwork that recalls classic Blue Note covers and iconic Saturday morning cartoons like Schoolhouse Rock!. The album art was illustrated by Kento IIDA and designed by Jeremy White - view these pieces below. Check out Float here and A View From The Sky here.
Learn more about Harrison in his bio below and stay tuned for the album drop next month!
Harrison - Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees Tracklist
3. Outta This World (featuring TOBi)
5. Like When We Were Kids
6. Bump (featuring M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson)
7. Honey Harbor (Bill's Song)
8. Music Box
9. Around You
10. Float (featuring Kadhja Bonet)
13. 7 pm
14. Blue Sky (featuring Nanna.B)
15. A View From The Sky
When Harrison (Harrison Robinson) began working on his third album in his modest Toronto sudio in 2019, the producer and composer felt a strong desire to his artistic roots. “I knew I wanted to just make what I thought was cool, regardless of it being cheesy,” he says of the piano-centred compositions that would become Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees. “Chick Corea had a quote along the lines of ‘you have to find what sounds beautiful to you’ and that really stuck a chord with me.”
Like his previous two albums, Apricity (2018) and his 2016 debut, Checkpoint Titanium (which earned the attention of the prestigious Polaris Music Prize), Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees sees a handful of guests stepping into the producer’s technicoloured world, including Kadhja Bonet, TOBi, Nanna.B, M.E.D. and Guilty Simpson (their first reunion since J Dilla’s The Shining in 2006) To help complement his artistic vision, the producer enlisted the help of illustrator Elijah Anderson, whose single artwork recalls classic Blue Note covers and classic Saturday morning cartoons like Schoolhouse Rock.
Taken as a whole, Birds, Bees, The Clouds & The Trees is an assured and joyful statement from a young artist evolving and finely honing his craft. Or as Robinson himself puts it, “It’s the music that I dreamed about making as a kid.”
About Last Gang
Last Gang is a music company founded in 2003 and credited with launching the careers of Metric, Death From Above 1979, Mother Mother and MSTRKRFT. The company is also well known for its work with Arkells, Stars, Keys N Krates, Lights, and Chromeo. Last Gang is a MNRK Music Group company. www.lastgang.com