Liverpool-based trio HAARM ring in the new year with a video for their brand-new single Dahlia. For those unfamiliar with the aspiring alternative-pop starlets, there are three core members of the band; Jen (Vocals, Synth), Chris (Vocals, Guitar) and Olly (Drums, Programming) who met at a festival in town over ten years ago. Better together, the triad layer synth-driven tunes with a thoughtfully placed array of drums and bass. Having previously flaunted their connection to the symbolism of the flower, it feels only fitting to have Dahlia plucked from a bed of tracks recorded in summer 2019 and chosen as their first highly anticipated single of 2020.
The new video visually bursts with colours and shapes that reflect off blooming flora, animating amongst Technicolor visuals of the band members’ spiralling faces. It’s quite a thing to see. Hushed tones knit the male-female duality of their vocals together perfectly over indie-pop guitars and piano. Ahead of the premiere, we spoke to Chris about the concept behind the video, filming in a haunted barn and what the next year holds for them.
So what’s Dahlia about?
It’s about somebody who has maybe let things spiral out of control a bit and feels isolated, alone and is unsure if there’s a way out of the trouble they’ve gotten themselves into. The message in the chorus is that you’re not better off alone, there’s somebody there for you, not everyone has left you yet so don’t give up on yourself. Usual cheery HAARM stuff.
The video for Dahlia has a trippy, 90s rave feel to it — do you see that mirroring the track in any way? If so, it’s a bit of a new direction for the band, would you agree?
The video’s really trippy, isn’t it? The song came first and then we took it to our long-time visual collaborator, Peter Michael, who has this derelict barn out in Cheshire somewhere – it’s an amazing place, you have to trawl through loads of overgrown bushes and nettles and stuff and then you get to this massive barn and when you go in its part haunted house, part space ship. There’s a huge video wall in there, flame throwers, all sorts, and that’s where we shot it. The song is really 90s and I think we’ve always had a bit of that about us. We’ve been compared to The Beloved quite a lot which is no bad thing in my book.
Where do you see HAARM fitting into music in 2020?
The next few releases are all lined up ready to ghostwrite and each is kind of different to the last. There’s a huge single coming in April called Take Me Away which we’re really excited about putting out because we recorded it last summer so we’ve been sat on it for a while. It’s got a really tropical feel to it and the main hook is played on steel drums which might be tricky logistically when it comes to touring. I think we’re always just going underneath that alt.pop umbrella: each song’s different stylistically but it’s always dead poppy. A bit like Gorillaz or something like that.