Harriet Street burst onto the scene in 2005 with a deep breath and a wail. Fronted by singer/songwriter Brian Cassagnol, the Boston quartet’s lush musical textures expertly blend crashing guitars, soaring strings, and desperate, resonant vocals on dense rhythmic backdrops.
Within months of forming, Harriet Street drew immediate acclaim and found themselves at the center of attention: a showcasing artist at the NEMO Boston Music Festival (chosen by the Boston Herald as one of the "conference highlights"), the newest addition to NYC’s 2 Generations Management roster, a licensing deal through leading agency EMOTO Music, radio play on major stations in Boston, Providence and NYC, and sold out shows at ever larger venues.
The birth of Harriet Street goes back to 2004 when frontman Brian Cassagnol and bassist Andrew Morgan were discovered by drummer Ed Toth from Vertical Horizon. These three immediately set upon writing and revising the songs that would comprise their debut album Cold and Comfortable, which was co-produced by Toth and Cassagnol.
In Spring 2005, shortly after completing the record, Toth parted ways to tour with the Doobie Brothers, and in stepped drummer Jeff Steinback. A few months later the band stumbled upon lead guitarist Kevin McHugh. Says Cassagnol, “It was tremendously important to us that we find inspired and passionate musicians to complete the group, but we never could have dreamed we’d find those things in two people we like and respect so much as Jeff and Kevin…they are as much our brothers as our bandmates.”
Even the harshest critics agree that when Harriet Street takes the stage there is a chemistry, a charisma, and an edge which demand the complete and undivided attention of every person in the room. Cold and Comfortable was released in July 2005 and these four brothers continue to tour relentlessly to find out what will be in store for them next. One thing is for sure: each breath will be deeper than the last, and eventually the wailing will be impossible to ignore.
Brian Cassagnol - Lead Vox, Guitars, Keyboards
Andrew Morgan - Bass, Vox
Jeff Stineback - Drums
Kevin McHugh - Lead Guitar, Vox
Cold and Comfortable - July 2005
Cold and Comfortable
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Chess is a game of patience, intelligence, and understanding. Harriet Street's Cold and Comfortable ...Chess is a game of patience, intelligence, and understanding. Harriet Street's Cold and Comfortable is solidly built around these three elements.
The lyrics of this album are on a level of their own, putting almost any band to shame. Songs consist of the same old themes but are set apart with bold, sometimes bitter, intricacy aligned just so to bring every word alive. And yet, these lyrics live in the shadows of fantastic music that is so well-coordinated that you can't escape from listening to it. It won’t be uncommon to find yourself humming along, maybe even singing along to these impeccably designed alt-pop tunes.
Sometimes through all the quality and layers of this complex debut album, it feels as if they were holding back- not always being true to themselves and their art. This means that Harriet Street is a band capable of producing many things that are even better than this. This enviable quality makes Cold and Comfortable a must have and Harriet Street a band to watch. You will be hearing more of them.
Where to go, What to hear
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So much to see, so little time. That's the motto for the weekend as some 300 bands bear down on some...So much to see, so little time. That's the motto for the weekend as some 300 bands bear down on some 30 venues to grab a little of the NEMO limelight. Here's a sliver of the show and conference highlights:
6 Alien Ant Farm, Axis
7 Phil Aiken, acoustic stage at Abbey Lounge
7:45 Michelle Lewis, Club Passim, Cambridge
8 Ashlee Simpson, Avalon
9 Steafan Hanvey, the Burren
9:30 Celebrity Pilots, Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
***9:45 Harriet Street, Johnny D's, Somerville ***
11:30 The Slip, the Middle East Upstairs
The Passion Of Harriet Street
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"Harriet Street is a band with more passion and conviction than has been seen in the music industry ..."Harriet Street is a band with more passion and conviction than has been seen in the music industry in a long time. When one makes the decision to pursue a career in music, chances are it will take them on a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs...Harriet Street is up for the challenge.
'Cold and Comfortable' is anything but cold; the album's warm undertones ensure that once the listener puts it into a C.D. player, they will never take it out. These classically trained musicians demonstrate their skills and talents by constructing huge, sweeping melodies with incredible depth and raw emotion.
"Weary Fountain Pen" is a song in which everything fits together perfectly; combining classical strings and pianos with and heavy guitars, it is a perfect combination. This is one track that can be listened to over and over again. "New York Song" is the last track, and the band certainly saved the best for last...it is a deeply personal song that expresses the preciousness of life.
The group's success can be attributed to Cassagnol's remarkable vocal range and inventive songwriting...a stunning body of work."
Cold and Comfortable
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Harriet Street's debut, Cold and Comfortable, finds them off to a great start. The six songs feature...Harriet Street's debut, Cold and Comfortable, finds them off to a great start. The six songs featured here are sure to keep listeners interested, from the eerie ballad "The Perfect Ending," to the low-key waltz "Lullaby." Brian Cassagnol's vocals are melancholy and haunting, and he also putting his powerful falsetto to good use on several tracks.
Harriet Street Takes Off Running
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“Harriet Street is grounded, soulful and colorful - a rock sound pulsing with energy. The group’s ar...“Harriet Street is grounded, soulful and colorful - a rock sound pulsing with energy. The group’s arrangements are impressively built around the clever songwriting and emotional performances.
[Cassagnol’s] voice is captivating…the emotion captured in his impressive range draws the listener in. The melodies are unique and colorful, but catchy enough to stay with you for weeks. There is no doubt that this is a band to watch!”
Quote from Vertical Horizon
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“In an indie world of angry rock, punk wannabees and boring jam bands, it's rare to hear genuinely g...“In an indie world of angry rock, punk wannabees and boring jam bands, it's rare to hear genuinely great songs with soaring melodies. This is what sets Harriet Street apart from the rest: great music. Plain and simple."
WERS Artist of the Week
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June 14, 2007 WERS Local Artist of the Week, Harriet Street, stopped by the studio for a chat and...June 14, 2007
WERS Local Artist of the Week, Harriet Street, stopped by the studio for a chat and an awesome live performance. The group was here to support their latest record Several Lies and the Love That Inspired Them. Having just had their song “The Perfect Ending,” featured in the ad campaign for the new HBO show John From Cincinnati, the band’s future is looking up.
Songs like “The Sequel” and “Playing With Fire In August” are moody indie rock pieces that build into strong full out rock in the vein of "Bends"-era Radiohead. Not too shabby for a group that prior to going on the air goofs around by briefly playing a Metallica song, but still manages to sound like, as one critic puts it, “Death Cab for Jeff Buckley.”
The song featured in the HBO ads “The Perfect Ending,” is another slow building song with momentum that turns into a piece featuring a sonic guitar solo that rocks so hard lead singer/guitarist Brian Cassagnol’s headphones fell off his head...and he was only playing the acoustic guitar.
Set list - set lengths can vary from 40-90 minutes and typically include selections from the following songs:
The Perfect Ending
Weary Fountain Pen
Breathtaking and Strange
Lost In The Thought Of The Things You Would Say
New York Song
Night In Your Chest
Turning Up Roses
Too Much to Swallow
Don't Let Me Down (Beatles)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.