harris tweed
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harris tweed

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Press


Cherilyn Macneil, lead singer of Harris Tweed, is magic. This impression lasts throughout the album The Younger -- although the it delivers much more than just a pretty voice. This first CD by the South African group has a bit more around the waist than your average pop album, and edges towards soulful rock filled with interesting lyrics. The group’s first single, Superfly, has been well received on radio stations, steadily climbing the charts. Most of the songs on the album are radio friendly and we can expect to hear more from them than just one single. Apparently, the group spent quite a few months fine-tuning the recording and it definitely shows. The Younger is well-rounded, enjoyable and should find a wide audience among South Africans. -- Yolandi Groenewald - Mail and Guardian


The vocal prowess of one Cherilyn MacNeil will spin around your aural cavity and leave you happier, fulfilled and feeling full of the joys of spring 11 tracks later. Who would have thought music could do that? Between lyrics that sucker-punch and melodies that cuddle and caress, not owning this disc means you're missing out on more than just a little action. JC
LIKE-MINDED GENIUS: Lily Allen, 'Alright, Still' - Musica Pulse Magazine


There is a track on this album called 'Ode to Confusion' that is one of the most pleasant and original ditties I've heard in ages. Its such a clever composition that I'd venture to say it may be worth buying this album purely for this track. This song really does stand out, but the rest of the album is also worthy of praise. Joburg-based-chief-Harris Tweed songwriter and vocalist Cherilyn MacNeil, along with Darryl Torr has presented an enjoyable, soulful and heartfelt album. Harris Tweed covers a variety of styles, from thoughtful pop to more sincere ivory-tinkering ballads. MacNeil's voice is original, providing an agreeable variation from the many South African artists annoyingly trying to emulate Karma of Henry Ate. Hopefully this album will earn the local songbird some international recognition.
- Michael Maurel - Saturday Star


Harris Tweed, made up of supertalented Cherilyn MacNeil and Darryl Torr, appeared on the music scene in 2006 with the divinely catchy album, 'The Younger'. The intelligent lyrics, potent sound and intense vibe of Harris Tweed is memorable and likeable - you probably already know the first single, 'Superfly'. They're in a spectacular league of their own - not light rock, pop, nor folk, but loads of substance! - Leisure Options


Imagine Henry Ate's Karma Ann inviting Sarah Mac and maybe Tori Amos around for a cup of tea and a chat and you've got some idea of where Harris Tweed's debut is on the musical map. It's a palate-cleansing pot of downbeat piano ballad goodbyes, deceptively airy minor key confusions and alternative country cruises. Lead singer Cherilyn MacNeil and guitarist Darryl Torr tweak the strong 'n sensitive envelope on cute 'n cuddly pop ditties such as 'Ode to Confusion' and femme-folk smiles such as stuck on this course before smashing the stereotypes with a killer electro-clash anthem 'Superfly' that synchs straight up with the fashionably chic retro-80's pop crop.
MICHAEL LOCKSLEY - Obrigado


Discography

Debut Album - 'The Younger', released August 2006

Tracklisting:

Superfly [#1 Radio single in South Africa]
Ode to Confusion [Charting radio single, video on MTV & VH1 Europe]
Hurt Enough
Easy to Leave
Don't Forget
Stuck on this Course
Beautiful Mystery
le Musketeer est Brave
Better than This
Waiting
Turning In

Photos

Bio

Harris Tweed. It's a name that conjures up impeccably crafted, highly individual, classics-in-the-making creations – much like the duo of the same name.

Titled 'The Younger', their debut recording delivered, incontestably, one of the most special listening experiences of 2007. It also introduced Cherilyn MacNeil and Darryl Torr as two of the music world's brightest prospects who have, in their first album, crafted a set of songs that reclaim pop as a thing of beauty yet have enough of an edge to elevate Harris Tweed into a duo of real substance.

The stars of the album are Cherilyn's clarion voice and cogent lyrics. Yet, while MacNeil's elegantly crafted songs form the fulcrum, listen closely and it's her co-production with Torr that gives the material its force. "I may write the songs but the production changes everything," MacNeil testifies.

Twenty-four-year-old MacNeil is, like her songs, all intensity and quirkiness (it was her 'Eureka' idea to make Bernard the goldfish a part of Harris Tweed), yet also very accessible.

She declares, "Harris Tweed's musical vision is about excellence. We are desperate to be excellent – and we're ambitious. We don't aspire to be rock stars. We are very hard working. People want to have everything done for them because what they are doing is 'art' and I think that is weird. Everyone has to work. We understand this is art but it's also a business and we are working hard at making it happen."

Part of that devotion to their particular cause includes ensuring Harris Tweed is available to their fans. Says MacNeil: "We didn't go out to make a radio-friendly or commercial album but at least for me, art is about communication and accessibility and I think we are very available to our fans. Some bands are all about the mystique – but we're not."

Sometimes - in spite of being a distinctly "all-or-nothing" individual - it seems as if MacNeil herself can't believe that she's taken the leap of faith into being a fulltime musician. "I went from varsity straight into fulltime music. I had gone there to study English and French and politics – all things I thought would help the world.

"But that man (pointing to Torr) kept saying 'come on, you need to be making music' – at first I wasn't really open to the idea because writing songs was something that I did in my bedroom. Something private. But then we recorded the song 'Stone' together and before we knew it, we were playing a small regional festival."

The multi-talented, bass-playing Torr is the perfect counterpoint to his bandmate –he brings a decade of experience in the studio to Harris Tweed and an unbridled passion for music as well as a solidness that anchors MacNeil. (Also, while Bernard may have been McNeil's brainwave, it was Torr's meticulous research into how to revive an ailing goldfish – peas, if you must know – that saved the fish's life recently!)

Says Torr: "I've always been in music. I ran away from school in my last year to be in a band." It may sound like a soundbite dreamed up for a biog but Torr in fact did flee from his boarding school to play guitar in a band and when the band broke up, he found himself working in the studio. Many years on Torr now owns his own production company, Openroom Productions.

In the months since the release of 'The Younger', Harris Tweed has made good on the set of folk/pop songs contained in that release by becoming one of the most affecting live acts in South Africa. Through a full slate of domestic gigs, slots supporting the likes of Swedish master singer-songwriter, Jose Gonzales and Fall Out Boy, and a turn at Austin's South By Southwest Festival, Cherilyn MacNeil and Darryl Torr have breathed organic and heartfelt life into the songs on their debut.

That MacNeil and Torr have managed to pursue a musical vision that pays little attention to current chart fads and the conceits of those who occupy the mainstream says a whole heap about Harris Tweed's single-mindedness – which is driven by a desire to create a songbook that lives long in the lives of those who come into its path. This hasn't prevented Harris Tweed from earning airtime with the likes of 'Superfly' and 'Ode To Confusion', both brilliant examples of intelligent pop, the latter in particular a standout live, with MacNeil displaying her winning quirkiness on the wings of song that simply sounds like no other you've ever heard.

With a live DVD on the shelves, and a new album in the works, there appears every reason to believe that Harris Tweed will do the cloth it's named after proud – by becoming beloved in homes far, far beyond their African borders .