Release: 1st September 2013 (Sangraal Records)
- This Is The Beginning
- Juicy Fruit Girl
- Love Is Due
- Holiday On Earth
- Pop Fiction: Origins
- There Never Was
- Here Comes The Gun
- X By Your Name
- Reality Check
- The Incredible Melting Man
- Plague Of Toads
- The Beginning Is Nigh
- Start Again
Running time 75:48 - it's epic!
Mixed and produced by Tchad Blake
Guitars; Bass; Vocals; Percussion; Drums on TIMM and POT: Nick Harper
Drums on everything, but POT: Jeremy Stacey
Really electric guitar and vocals on BIN; Tremelo guitar on LID: Jakko Jakszyk
Vocals on LID and Pop: Lily Harper
Fiddle on TIMM: Jon Leveller
Parliamentalists on TIMM: The Rt. Hon. Matthew Jones MP; Lord Sir Clifford of Huntingdon and the Southern Chutney Marches and The Rt. Hon. Patrick Hunt MP.
Introducing to Harperspace the legendary, invisible rock singer on BIN: Dave Graney.
Vocals on TITB; HOE; Sun; X and Gun; Also for singing his heart out and wrenching mine in the process, the special Harpic award to Mr. Ben Jones.
Mastering guru: Justin Shirley-Smith
Product management: Steve Young at Weatherbox
Art: Alec Carmichael at aleccarmichael.org
Mostly inspired by; Jack, Lil' and HRH;Dave Graney and Killing Joke.
Prog Magazine - November 2013
NICK HARPER - Riven (sangraal)
An acoustic prog-skiffle concept record? Yes please!
Nick Harper may come from a rich acoustic/folk heritage (his father is Roy, no less) but his music is anything but trad, Dad. Over eight albums he has established himself as a unique voice and player in his own right and has recently contributed to recordings by Lana Del Rey, Newton Faulkner and Steven Wilson. On this concept album - songs of light and shade, divided by the title track - his talents are evident on the lurching, staccato strut of Juicy Fruit Girl, an odd pop song that unfolds itself out of the speakers, the vaudevillian, brilliantly dissonant Beefheart/Tom Waits hybrid Plague of Toads takes aim at right wing pundit Kelvin MacKenzie, while jaunty folk reel of The Incredible Melting Man sees Harper turn his ire towards Nick Clegg, a man who has 'forsaken his ideals to join Lord Snooty's gang'. Strange time sigs and imaginitive use of acoustic guitar make Riven something akin to prog skiffle. Harper's playing is dazzling, unconventional and his worldly lyrics flow and tumble, whilst producer Tchad Blake (richard Thomson, Peter Gabriel) allows the music plenty of space. There's a pleasing Englishness about it all too: eccentric, but not whacky; provocative, but fun. BM
Sunday Herald Scotland - 20 October 2013
Nick Harper, Riven (Sangraal)
Singer, songwriter, guitarist is an inadequate description for Nick Harper. On stage he is a force of nature who'd make an orchestral fireworks concert seem puny by comparison and in the studio, as here, on possibly his best album to date, he crafts music that is sublimely tuneful, lyrically intelligent and showcases the multi-tracked talents of someone who's been criminally overlooked for years. The chorus of Sunshine, on which Harper's stacked vocals give Crosby, Stills & Nash in their pomp a run for their money, is a soaring, lift-you-out-of-your-seat musical high that's worth the admission price alone. Elsewhere, There Never Was has the acoustic guitar magic that never ceases to enthral Harper gig-goers supporting a gorgeous, typically wholehearted vocal and The Juicy Fruit Girl combines lost love, a rummage through the attic and social networking with the same superb storytelling wit that Harper turns on reality television shows and politicians (the merciless The Incredible Melting Man). If he's passed you by, this is a perfect entry point into Harper's world.