Brett Harris
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Brett Harris

Durham, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Durham, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"Durham songwriter, sideman and bandleader Brett Harris....is due to leave the underground at any moment. Right now, he's sitting on a 10-track LP that perfectly balances his musical interests - pop ease and gospel earnestness, soul gusto and country texture - into seamless syntheses that stick on first listen. It's the sort of thing that gets described or dismissed as Beatles-esque, but the material is artfully built and effortlessly rendered, wearing its cool within its craftsmanship."

- Grayson Currin, Independent Weekly - Independent Weekly


‘Mr. Sunshine’
Brett Harris (self-released)
4.5 stars out of 5

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Brett Harris is best known for his work in The dB’s and as part of the touring company that performs Big Star’s “3rd” and “#1 Record” albums. I’m guessing stellar EP “Mr. Sunshine” will open some eyes to Harris’ skills as a solo performer.

Brett Harris CDThe only thing wrong with the four-track release of indie pop/rock is that it’s over in a way-too-short 16 minutes. “Mr. Sunshine” is the follow up to the North Carolina-based Harris’ 2010 debut “Man of Few Words” and is the perfect showcase for all of his musical gifts.

Harris opens the set with the John Lennon-esque “Out of the Blue” before launching into the sunny title track. His live reading of Big Star’s “Kanga Roo” is truly special and the low-key “When You Get the Chance” rounds out this near perfect short-player. Brett Harris needs to be on your radar from here on out. (Jeffrey Sisk) - Pittsburgh In Tune


Out of the blue, I found Brett Harris to get me back to what’s good in the Triangle rock scene.

Brett Harris is a multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter from Durham, NC. Harris has been a touring member of Chris Stamey’s band The dB’s and performs as a core band member in performances of Big Star’s Third. In 2010, his first full length album, Man of Few Words, was featured in Paste Magazine “Best of What’s Next” and NPR’s “All Songs Considered: Second Stage.” Harris’s new EP, Mr. Sunshine, releases September 9.

Mr. Sunshine is an artfully arranged indie pop record with four catchy, instantly attractive songs. All music reminisces to an earlier point. The nostalgia in Mr. Sunshine is for the golden age of rock. The age of Beatles.

This EP immediately rang true for me. From Paste Magazine, Brett Harris “grew up in a small town in Virginia in a house with bunch of Beatles records and a piano that his mother played on Sundays.” As a listener, I’ve found myself listening to anything from noise to folk to hip hop. Growing up was different. Like Harris, I grew up in a family where my first real listening experience was The Beatles. Mr. Sunshine, in all of its fifteen minutes, reaches that spot deep inside the heart that’s surrounded by those early musical memories.

Brett Harris takes the pop feels of classic rock and executes the style with earnest precision. Each song suggests an intuitive mastery of pop artistry. There is sensitivity and sincerity behind Harris’s voice. There is an undeniable connection to Lennon in his vocal style, that soulful sweet tenor. There is skill in the arrangement and composition of each song.

Mr. Sunshine takes classic pop and presents it as is. No decoration, no pretension, only pop. And quite frankly, that is beautifully bold.

The EP’s opener “Out of the Blue” opens twangy guitar Americana and closes orchestrally strung-out Brit-pop. It reminds me of Bowie’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.” Constantly expanding instrumentation, Harris’s song builds in the same way as Bowie’s. “Mr. Sunshine” is dreamily put together. The mellow tone of the guitar and soft edge of Harris’s voice are punctuated by a section of horn instruments. “Kangaroo” is English psychedelia mixed with Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.” Almost haunting. Mr. Sunshine ends with the touching “When You Get The Chance.” The love song. It’s easy to write a silly little love song. It’s hard to write “Something.” This song is something.

For such a short release, Brett Harris’s Mr. Sunshine is a charming, light, feel good EP. At four songs and fifteen minutes, you’ll want to hear this on repeat.

- John Reardon - Resound Magazine


It’s simple: Brett Harris is Durham, North Carolina’s best kept secret that’s not so secret anymore. A gifted multi-instrumentalist with an impressive resume, Mr. Harris releases his new four-song e.p., Mr. Sunshine, on September 9th. Just for whetting your appetites, he’s played with The dB’s as keyboardist and guitarist; he’s also been part of the touring company that performs the Big Star 3rd and now #1 Record albums in concert. I don’t think I need to go further. Most importantly, he is a wonderful singer and songwriter and this E.P. is a wonderful companion to his debut album, 2010’s self titled release.

“Out Of The Blue” is a very Lennon-esque styled track but full, rich and is produced with an ear for detail to that Beatle manner of arrangement; a glorious way to start proceedings. It’s evident that Mr. Harris knows how to write, construct and deliver classic pop with his own imprint, which is buoyant. Listen to his voice; it works as another instrument – a perfect flow with the musicians. The title track, “Mr. Sunshine” has a bright and sunny guitar strum; if I may, it almost reminds me of Bowie’s “Sound And Vision”, melodically speaking, but has a lot of soul, with its horn flourishes and the backing harmonies. The live rendition of Big Star’s “Kanga Roo” induces chills – Mr. Harris’ rendition is passionate and takes the song to another emotional level. “When You Get The Chance” is a sweet, subdued and charming number to close this four song collection in a very satisfying manner.

Four songs of diverse style; four songs of heart and skill. Remember the name: Brett Harris. And buy the records.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

-Rob Ross - Popdose


Discography

Yesterday's News EP - Release Date 2.29.08
-Songs that have received radio airplay:
-Yesterday's News
-Dew Drops
-Grey Skies Blue
- Tennessee Line (XMU Radar Report XM radio)

Side Two EP (release date: October 7th, 2008)

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Bio

Brett Harris is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Durham, NC. His first full length album, Man of Few Words, was featured by Paste magazine's "Best of What's Next", NPR's "All Songs Considered:  Second Stage" and made several "Best of 2010" lists, drawing comparisons to the music of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, and Emitt Rhodes.
Additionally, Brett has participated as a core band member in live performances of Big Star's Third, playing in the US, UK, Spain, and Australia.  He has also served as a touring member of jangle pop progenitors The dB's.

Brett has recently released a new EP entitled "Mr. Sunshine" and has completed work on a new LP due out in 2015.

Band Members