Monday, January 02, 2023

Harlow’s Monkeys Come Of Age On Latest Single ‘You Don’t Have To Change’

After listening to Harlow’s Monkeys latest track, it’s no surprise that the band are from America's Golden City - San Francisco. With its shimmering guitar lines over bombastic major chord patterns; ‘You Don’t Have to Change’ is the sun in musical form. 

The upbeat riffs and positive vibes the song immaculately exudes are joined in harmony by the band's lead singer and producer Tommy P. 

The somewhat strained style of his vocal delivery adds a welcome element of harshness to the otherwise uber-positive track as he pleads “You don’t have to change if you don’t want to”. 

The single doesn’t always simply follow the pop-rock formula it sets out on early, as the pre-chorus delves into the world of prog-rock through twisting, funk guitar riffs that create an altogether different environment before the track eventually crescendos into a bombastic life-affirming climax in its second half. 

But I, I wanna do better / And I, I wanna heal” sings Tommy in his by now trademark husk vocal style. It gives ‘You Don’t Have to Change’ a coming-of-age feel, almost built exclusively to be played during the happy ending of a teen rom-com as the protagonists sail into the sunset of a future filled with hope.  

The band’s name, Harlow’s Monkeys, is in reference to the 1950s experiment by Harry Harlow. In his experiment, Harlow wanted to see whether the child-to-mother bond was built on survival (the providing of essentials such as food and water) or if the symbiotic relationship was built on more than just basic necessities. Through his workings, the psychologist found that the role of the primary caregiver was not just limited to primary drivers such as food, but that contact and the need to touch were also vital aspects of the relationship. 

It's interesting that the band chose this name, as their warm and fuzzy yet surprisingly delicate music almost replicates the apparent role of mothers on their newborn infant. Their latest offering is a perfect encapsulation of that tender touch. 

James Ogden 

Image: ’You Don’t Have to Change’ Official Single Cover 

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