Harbor and Home: The quiet places can sometimes have the loudest messages
Harbor and Home's latest album, Dark Days, traces the edges of Americana before settling in a pool of calming guitars and lyrics. It's deeply lovely: a frosty sunrise of an album that signals happiness, holism, and mystery for fans of the Avett Brothers and Frank Turner.
Courtesy of the artist
Gimme Noise caught up with Kaleb Williams before the album release at the Fine Line on Saturday to talk about the change in their sound and their thoughts on Christian rock.
Band members: Kaleb Williams, Alex Kimball, Nathan Johnson, Sam Nargan, David Laansma
Gimme Noise: How did the name Harbor and Home come about?
Kaleb Williams: Well, the name Harbor and Home really came from the vision that we have as a band. We believe that music is one of the most powerful forces on this earth, and that the correct use of that power can be a comfort and an escape for people who need it. We strive to be an uplifting and positive influence on those around us so that we feel like family to those we encounter. We want people to tell us their stories and the things they have faced because they feel comfortable. A Harbor was a sign of refuge for early sailors as they fought the angry tides and mounting waves, and Home is the place where your heart feels at peace and you are truly in a place of serenity. By using these two names we truly feel that our vision has its roots and also a reminder to us and those around us that we will be there for people when they most need it.
The feel of the music falls in line with the name of the band. Was that intentional?
That's exactly what we wanted to happen. We feel that our music has to line up with our overall vision and we think that this album does just that. Our vision is plain and simple -- be the light in the dark.
Your music has Christian undertones to it. Do you guys consider yourselves Christian rock? Or do you feel the music can be more universal?
We definitely hope that some of who we are comes out in the way we write and in the music that we play. We are all followers of Jesus Christ and believe all that the Bible teaches, so we would say that absolutely some of our songs have Christian undertones. We generally do not classify our music as Christian rock, because we are a band that truly believes in leading by example. Our music all though it does contain undertones of Christianity was not intended to fit just into the Christian genre, but rather be a kind of music that appeals to all cultures and religions so that when the time comes for the rubber to hit the road, we can lead by example and be the light in the dark. Indirect missions work is something that has always intrigued our band.
You took some time off before you began writing for this album. Why did you do so?
We definitely needed time to realign our vision and get our minds in the right place. We also were going every which way as far as style goes, and we needed time to lock down our direction for the future. The quiet places can sometimes have the loudest messages.
Can you pinpoint a particular moment when your vision to the new sound or what you wanted to write became clearer?
The music really started to take a turn when we honestly had some time to look at ourselves and the lives of those around us. We started to pull from the troubled times rather than just the joyful times and found that our writing became much more honest and genuine, and a lot of songs were not used or just not pursued. We try to write at least something new every day whether it be a riff on the guitar, a new drum beat, or just some lyrics that we jot down on our iPhones. Constantly working on something new is what keeps creativity fresh and alive.