Brit born Harrison Rimmer is losing himself across Australia. Playing gigs at roadhouses, pubs and clubs on the way, he’s on a Kerouacian journey, discovering that the road can be the greatest muse.
Recorded earlier this year ‘Old Heart’ is a song about distance – the freedom it brings, but also the inevitable truth that most relationships wont be able to withstand it.
There’s a pleasing subtlety to the chorus, swelling though it is. The vocals are downplayed and gritty, and add pathos to the central image of our narrator losing hope. “Put this old heart to rest” is a lyric that can be read many ways but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it represents something coming to and end, and the mix of reluctance and acceptance that comes to anyone stood on the edge of the unknown. It is classic relationship stuff really, but expressed in a more mature and personal way.
It’s the kind of structure that could work as a stripped down folkie, but actually the gritty guitar washes and busy beat help to maintain the right mix of optimism and sentimentality. It has a college rock vibe – think Counting Crows circa Hard Candy. The harmonies too, though they are barely there, are to die for.
‘Old Heart’ embodies the duality of life on the road – the thrill of what lies ahead, and the knowledge that you’re drifting from your old life. Will it be the same when you’re back? Will your friends be where you left them? Can you stay with someone you hardly see? It’s easy to romanticise the idea of losing yourself far from home, but it’s an act of destruction too, though we don’t always realise it.
As they say, you can never really go home again. It’s an adage not lost on Harrison Rimmer, this sensitive and keen-eyed journeyman for whom the agonies and ecstasies of wanderlust are no strange thing. ‘Old Heart’ is a touching moment of self-realisation.
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