Harboring is a self titled EP from the music project Harboring. The project is a metonym for Nathaniel Briggs – the musician behind it all. This debut album makes one thing very clear – Harbouring is a fan of Metal, has been heavily influenced by metal, and his own sound is undeniably metal rock.
The EP features three singles, and each of these delves into a different kind of melancholia. The runtime of the album is a little over twelve minutes. This is smart because the artist is able to create a soundscape for emotional confrontation. At the same time, it isn’t too lengthy that a listner would wallow in sadness or lose track of themselves. Did the artist lose himself though? I’d say he very much did because the tracks are ioncredibly emotional and sensitive. He is dealing with loss that encompasses his being in every way. And you, as the listner, can simply sense that.
The EP opens with the song Lilies, imprinting an image of the white, cheerful blossom on your mind. What follows is the realisation that these are lilies on someone’s grave, and it’s not so bright anymore.
This is the first time you hear the singer’s deep, almost whispering vocals. They blend with the gentle acoustic guitar that opens the song. The music brightens as the chorus inches closes, but the lyrics contrast this if you can pay attention to them over the emotive sounds. The singer says, he is still stuck in August when this tragedy happened. He is resting flowers, lilies, on the grave, but the memories are slowly washing away. And he still lacks the closure to let memories expire when they are all he has left. The ending of the song gives way to echoing production sounds, and it is meditative in the way the musician has crafted it.
Next on the album is Nevermore, Never More. The opening of the song is played on electric guitar this time, setting a different tone for the track. The melody at the start is a bit contemplative, and a bit reflective. The singer sings ‘and I keep wishing I could help you,’ as if we have met him midway in his thoughts. The song is built almost entirely on electric guitar until the second paragraph comes in. It is more hopeful and bright.
The instrumental pauses simply replace the lyrics in the chorus, and you miss nothing. In this very interesting and thought out way, the artist gives the listner to join him in his thoughts during these long gaps. Towards the end of the song, the piano joins in, playing a repetitive, almost anxious melody that plays with the turmoil under the calm and serene built of the song.
Finally, Pieces of Me is the last song in this EP. The scene sets in with a beautiful electric riff with heavy distortion, which stays in the forefront the whole time. The patterns became unmissable as we are about to end the album. The long instrumental pauses allow the artist to create a sonic-scape that encompasses the listener. The last song reflects on the artist’s inner turmoil as he is unable to shake off. Instead, he is losing pieces of him in this stupor.
And just like that, the album ends into calm suddenly. The quiet leaves a gap where the sounds were. You have just experiences something very profound from a distance. However, you know you’ve come to learn something very private about someone. So now you must live with it.