Harrison Storm is a Victorian-born modern folk singer and songwriter. His music is emotionally evocative, but it is the vulnerability that makes his art so comforting and relatable. It leaves you feeling exposed, yet content, like stepping out of the freezing ocean with the sun warming your back. Following the release of his EP Falling Down, he toured Australia and will be doing his first Europe/UK headline tour in October. We spoke to him about his future music aspirations and the meaning behind his EP.
BYO: For those who don't know you, how would you describe your music?
Harrison: I guess the way I like to look at it is that I’m quite personal with the lyrics, hopefully thought provoking, very easy listening and just straight up folk music.
BYO: What would you say your favourite thing is about making music and music in general?
Harrison: I think the biggest thing that, as a listener of music, I value most and get out of music the most is just learning something from someone else's experience. Whether that’s something that's relatable to your life, where you can learn what this person's gone through and apply it to your own life. Or whether it's a particular situation that you haven't thought about. Listening to music growing up, I think that was the biggest thing that attracted me to folk music. There was a lot of macho culture growing up, where everything was about sports and stuff like that. So tapping into people singing about their feelings in a way that is not really in day to day conversations and being able to get lost in it, and learn from it and just create empathy, is what I like about music.
BYO: What were some of those artists that you were listening to growing you who inspired you to be okay with being vulnerable in your song writing and life.
Harrison: It just became this web of male singer songwriters, that I was really connecting with, like City and Colour, Ben Howard, Angus Stone. They were just singing about things that I felt really connected to at the time, and that I wasn't really hearing much of in that sort of depth in passing conversation with friends and even family.
So it was just a way of understanding, I guess, myself and other sort of people around me through the words of these artists.
BYO: Could you talk me through the inspiration for your EP falling down?
Harrison: The most recent EP is a little bit of a snapshot of different feelings that have happened in my life over the past year. There's ‘Run’, which is a song pretty much about escapism and wanting to find something better for yourself and for the person in your life. And I would say it’s more of an optimistic song of the four, apart from ‘Feeling it’, which is like straight up, falling in love with someone. And then ‘How to help’ is aimed at mental illness and having someone in your life go through a really dark patch. In that particular case, I was overseas when this person in my life is going through something, so it's talking about how I kind of feel that disconnect and inability to lend a hand. And then “Falling Down” is a song about rock bottom in a long-distance relationship. So the EP touches on a bunch of different things that are related to each other and relationships. There's not a general theme throughout all four songs, it’s kind of a mixed bag.
BYO: Who would you like to work with?
Harrison: I'm a massive fan of Dermot Kennedy. He's an Irish singer, songwriter and is kind of what I was talking about before - he really talks about things that you don't mention in depth day to day. He's more of a modern artist and I would love to even you know, just have a chat with him. To make a song with Demot Kennedy would be amazing.
BYO: What would you say has been some proud moments, personally and professionally, so far? And what are some things that you'd like to achieve in the near or not so near future?
Harrison: I think it was a really big moment for me when I signed a record deal at the end of 2016. Because that was just something that I never thought was ever going to happen. They say not to get validation from those sort of things, but the label that I'm with are really all for the artists and also for the song. There's no feelings of exploitation or anything like that and it just seemed like a really natural pairing. I never thought that I would be a full-time musician, it was it was always kind of like a pipe dream, but I was interested in other things and was studying something completely different.
BYO: What were you studying?
Harrison: I was studying civil engineering.
BYO: Oh, wow. Completely different.
Harrison: Yeah, so that was something that I really enjoyed. I think I've always wanted to be in control of my life in a time-sense. So having the ability to direct my career, along with the team around me, is important. I like surfing and having that opportunity to spend an hour song writing or two in a day, and then going for a surf, or just having a lot of free time to do whatever I want, is something that I've always kind of aspired to reach. And I think that came hand in hand with finding that record deal.
I would love to be able to go - and this is top of the list – to every kind of major city around the world and be able to play in a really nice theatre to people that are there to listen. I think if I can achieve that, then I would pretty much tick the boxes of doing exactly what I want to do. Long way to go laughs
BYO: Well, you’re definitely on the way.