Harlequiin’s impressive brand of stark, low-key pop integrates the best elements of electro-soul and alt-pop; mining the influence of artists like Jamie Lidell and Ben Khan. Harlequiin reveals himself to be a very welcome addition to the fold, reminiscent of such acts while maintaining his own unique identity,. He’s a multi-instrumentalist (his primary instrument is trumpet) and has recorded and toured with an extensive list of artists including Bat for Lashes, Paolo Nutini and the 1975. Most recently he’s lent his sound to tracks by Mount Kimbie (“Marilyn” feat. Micachu) and Labyrinth (“Misbehavin’” as featured in the Apple Watch ad). This elusive individual who, in the past, was found primarily in the shadows has been edging into the light ever since the release of his debut EP earlier this year.
Harlequiin now returns with the soul-searching title track from forthcoming EP ‘Something To Believe In’, a provocative, brooding rhapsody about commitment and fidelity. The song sets intimate R&B vocals atop a woozy electro-soul backdrop of wide glacial guitars and computerized handclaps. It’s a twisted, wry look at the idea of obsession and relationships – meshing electronic textures with acoustic instruments to form a semi-lo-fi, almost-artisanal blend of 80s synth pop, guitar-powered soul, and downtempo electronic music. The shadowy low-end synth pulses throughout the track, analog percussion lilting at the edges as 808 kits bristle in the middle. Harlequiin (real name, Rory Simmons) excels in creating a mood that can appeal to both dance lovers and an indie audience, with even a nod to a darker R&B form. The suave deliveries and thumping bass on the track sum it up, showing us again why the Londoner is one of the most diverse-sounding all-around artists out there. Listen here