Monday, July 11, 2011
Resurrection Gold - Kyp Harness
SCQ Rating: 74%
Kyp Harness’ Wikipedia page reads like the sort of nurtured reality only someone close to the artist could’ve constructed. Besides echoing much of the praise offered in the press release for Resurrection Gold, the anonymous tipster’s breadth of knowledge stretches back just prior to when Harness recorded a promising demo in 1987. Convincing hyperbole from The Toronto Star and The Moncton Transcript aside, it’s strange that Kyp Harness’ successes – as laid out over a twenty-five year period – don’t translate into any recognizable fan-base. With humble followings on his Last.fm and Facebook pages, Kyp Harness could just as easily be a novice musician, carving out his voice.
In no way am I proposing this argument as a means to dismiss Harness’ reputation; quite the opposite, I’m trying to bridge the enormous divide between grandstanding lip service and what appears to be virtual anonymity. Because Resurrection Gold deserves to be heard, whether it’s caressing the walls in Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern or blaring from a neighbour’s back deck this summer. Kyp Harness’ songs boast considerable mileage. Utilizing mid-tempo, bar-band workouts (‘Dragonfly Wing’, ‘Wandering Heart’) and tender folky introspection (‘Passenger’) to communicate his everyman muse, the Sarnia native churns out satisfying folk-rock with the effortless air of Honeycomb-era Frank Black.
Perhaps the limbo Harness’ material lives in – trapped between critical love and listener apathy – is the result of a songwriter stubbornly taking the hard road for so long. There's no gimmick to releasing records independently or playing shows as they arise, and Kyp’s steadfastness sticks some edge to these arrangements. Why the record’s arguable highlight, ‘As We Go Spinning Madly On’, hasn’t cracked radio waves yet, I can’t say, but Resurrection Gold should be a veteran spoke in Can-con’s salvation.