Based in Worthing on the West Sussex coast, Greg Harper is a singer-songwriter whose most recent album, Vignettes, came out in September.
While the songs were mainly written during lockdown they were initially recorded as ‘bare bones’ demos comprising just Harper’s vocals and acoustic guitar. However, Harper then worked with producer and multi-instrumentalist, Paul Linale to flesh them out more fully into an album, with the latter contributing piano, guitars, bass drums and percussion.
Harper’s songwriting has long explored a variety of ecological themes, from fracking to the decline of the bee population to the loss of ancient Woodland, and this latest album is no exception.
Although it is ostensibly a song that looks back to the 1953 North Sea Floods, the impending threat of devastating climate change in the modern age is really the overarching theme. Climate Change is the key theme of ‘Gathering Storm’ on reference, Taking The Time, meanwhile, is an intimate celebration of the sounds of the natural world.
Another track, ‘The Old Boneyard’, is a tribute to the occupants of Worthing’s Broadwater Cemetery, both those who were laid to rest there as well as the flora and fauna who have made it their home. “Once lovingly maintained by James Stoner, its sexton for 27 years. Now a haven for nature, contemplation, memories and imagination,” notes Harper.
That element of local history and sense of place is another thread running through the album, too. ‘Twenty Miles From Shore’, is a song about his own uncle’s experiences aboard the HMS Wren which was sunk off the coast of Aldeburgh in Suffolk during World War Two; whereas ‘The Fire Inside’ is a celebration of the joys of heritage stream railways.
Vignettes is a thoughtful, thought-provoking album that’s been lovingly put together by Greg Harper and his musical collaborator, Paul Linale.
Released: 16th September 2022 https://gregharpermusic.com/