Australian emerging artist SonOfHarry is set to make an indelible mark on the world of pop/ soft rock music with his debut concept album, ‘The World Has Gone Mad’, releasing today, December 8.
At just 21 years old, Harry Cleverdon presents a transformative sonic experience, marrying vintage inspirations from the likes of Pink Floyd and Queen with the contemporary sounds of Hozier, Matt Corby, and John Mayer. Having already made a huge impact in the Australian country music scene performing under his own name, this new project has allowed Cleverdon to expand his musical horizons into the pop, indie and alternative landscape.
We wanted to know a little more about SonOfHarry so we fired a few pertinent questions his way
1 What was the spark which lit your flame for music?
On my 4th birthday my parents bought me a toy plastic keyboard (which I still have) and I learnt every song in the little book it came with. That led to me taking piano lessons (classical) and it sort of snowballing from there! Then it was around when I was 13/14 where I claimed my fathers CD collection (which I also still have), where I developed a love for 70s/80s music! I think between that and starting to write my own music while listening to radio daily, I found my own sound!
2 What was the first music you purchased with your own money?
My First and only music purchase was a compilation CD of Billy Joels ‘Greatest Hits’. From then on though I was lucky enough to be in the era of online streaming so never needed to buy music! What a blessing that was for someone who had a passion for listening to all types of different music. The next time I actually purchased music again was a few years ago, when I started my Vinyl Record collection/addiction!
3 What are the main tools you use in your music making?
Real instruments! They are crucial I think to starting any project! But I also have my own professional studio so I use a lot of digital tools to create my sound! I work in Logic ProX as my Digital Audio Workstation and use so many different tools to form new sounds and put music together!
4 What’s the best thing about being a music artist in 2023?
Access to recording equipment! I don’t know if this is specifically 2023, but even 10 years ago.. Buying professional recording equipment would have been 5-10 times the price it is today! Now any artist with a small budget and a passion can get into the world of recording! But ALSO importantly social media allows us artists to directly market out music to our fans! How good is that?!
5 A record that changed your life?
The Wall – Pink Floyd. What an album! For anyone out there who has never had a transformative musical experience, this would be one to start with! Over an hour of soundscapes and killer tracks that fade into one another! It’s like a movie in your head! This is what I strive to recreate with SonOfHarry
6 Tell us about your next release
The World Has Gone Mad is my debut concept album! It is sort of a sonic experimentation for me! Born out of the 2020 lockdown. It’s a mix of melodic pop and classic rock, tackling modern, often unspoken subjects. The album aims to unite listeners through its thematic storytelling and diverse musical influences!
7 Who’s an artist you look up to and respect that inspires you?
There are so many! John Mayer has always been one of my favorites. In terms of songwriting and musical expression it’s hard to beat! Maybe Chet faker and Matt Corby as some more recent artists. But as always it’s hard to pinpoint… I just love music!!
8 What’s on your music gear wish list?
Oh too much! There’s a good saying: “Teach your kids music and they will never have the money to buy drugs!”. This is too true as I am constantly spending every cent on music! At the moment I am really looking at buying a new guitar (a telecaster to be specific) but I could list about 10 things I am saving for haha!
9 What would you like your music career to look like in 5 years time?
Living in an ideal world.. I want to be a household name! But I guess, who doesn’t! I really believe in my music and hope people will too! I want to be touring the world putting on true spectacles of shows! Shoot for the stars as they say.. who knows? But one can dream!
10 What would be your dream collaboration?
There are so many! To pick someone modern I would love to work with maybe Chet Faker? I think he is incredible (also aussie so that’s a bonus) or maybe Matt Corby (brilliant songwriting). But for SonOfHarry and the concept albums I like to write, I would love to work with maybe Roger Waters (formerly of Pink Floyd) or even more idealistic in a fantasy world, someone like Hans Zimmer.. Just due to the depth of soundscapes they create!
11 What would you consider to be your greatest musical achievement to date?
Being under a brand new artist name, and being my first release it’s very hard to say anything right now! I am so stoked with how this album has come out so I would have to say that! I have already had over 15000 streams on the few single releases I have had so that’s a super positive sign for this album!
12 Do you have any live gigs coming up?
Always! Plenty around Canberra! I just finished the Floriade Festival and am due to play for the Enlighten Festival in the new year! But I am always playing any little gig I can get! I love it!
MORE ABOUT SonOfHarry
Draped in layers of lush, melodic synthesizers, fiery blues-rock guitar, stirring orchestral arrangements, enchanting lead vocals, and stunning soundscapes made up of compelling soundbites, SonOfHarry’s debut album seamlessly transitions from track to track. With an emphasis on theatrics and thematic storytelling, ‘The World Has Gone Mad’ is a concept album that takes listeners on a cathartic journey through an aural landscape of thought-provoking social commentary.
The album opens with the ethereal ‘Intro’, a gorgeous soundscape featuring keys, thunderous drums, and soundbites. This smoothly moves into ‘The World Has Gone Mad, Pt 1’ – a gloomy and ominous track that evolves with layers of vocals, orchestral drums, and a striking string section, setting the stage for an epic musical experience.
‘Paradise, Pt 1’ follows, intensifying the dynamics and creating an optimistic atmosphere with anthemic, rejoiceful chants and energetic percussion. Surging forward with energy, featuring explosive blues-rock guitar solos and cathartic, passionate choruses, ‘The World Has Gone Mad, Pt 2’ is a pop-rock track that serves as a social commentary on the chaotic state of the world.
SonOfHarry’s versatility shines in ‘Moments Of Beauty’. The slow-burning, soulful number begins with a delicately played clean electric guitar, accompanied by the gentle sounds of birds chirping. The band joins in with laid-back blues-guitar riffs, providing a rich musical backdrop. Harry is supported by layers of harmonies, enhancing the overall experience as he passionately and gracefully delivers his heartfelt lyrics.
Launching into space, ‘Alien’ starts as a piano ballad, intensifying with Harry’s vocals, accompanied by drums and a hammered strings section for powerful choruses. The song’s dynamic shifts, with sparse verses and intense choruses, culminate in a gripping close highlighted by a roaring guitar solo that transitions into the interlude ‘Where Do We Come From?’, maintaining the completely flowing narrative of this concept album.
Then, ‘Can Not Be This Way’ injects infectious energy, questioning societal constructs with its vintage, jazzy feel, snappy anthemic choruses, and impressive vocal range. ‘Fall’ follows, presenting a mesmerizing soundscape, blending interstellar vocals with autotune. Harry then joins in intimately over the twinkling piano, creating a passionate and heartfelt track.
Closing the album, ‘The World Has Gone Mad, Pt 3’ maintains Harry’s social and political commentary. This epic, slow-burning pop track ebbs and flows before reaching an explosive climax, marking it as one of the album’s most dynamic and theatrical pieces that continuously shapeshifts and evolves.
‘The World Has Gone Mad’ is an experience that is remarkably cohesive, showcasing a level of expertise and professionalism well beyond Cleverdon’s years. With its conceptual continuity, social commentary, and sonic experimentation, SonOfHarry’s debut album is an intimate reflection and a cathartic journey through the complexities of the modern world.
SonOfHarry’s ‘The World Has Gone Mad’ is out everywhere on December 8.