Multi-talented Harkin has been a touring musician since her teens, and in addition to her own bands, she has shared stages with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. She’s now set to release her debut self-titled album on 24th April, via via Hand Mirror – a label she founded with her partner, poet & live arts organiser, Kate Leah Hewett.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Harkin to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that influenced her own writing techniques. Check out Harkin’s choices below, and scroll down to listen to her single ‘Dial It In’ at the end of this post.
1. Donna Summer – ‘State Of Independence’ (Extended Remix)
I’ve lived in London a couple of times, for Uni and then again around the time I started playing with Wild Beasts. I lived in a ground floor flat share with no living room and a galley kitchen, so we’d just hang out in each other’s bedrooms all the time. My flatmate had the 12” of this single and we’d put on the long b-side version and dance on her bed. That’s a feeling I come back again and again when I need to find some extra fuel for my fire.
2. Quack Quack – ‘Conversations’ (Live at The Brudenell Social Club)
I feel so lucky to have grown up going to gigs at The Bru. Quack Quack were such an inspiration. Unquestionably virtuosic players, but it’s their passion that was so remarkable. Truly an alive live band.
3. Björk – ‘Crystalline’ (Jools Holland Live)
I feel the urge to listen to this song every winter as the cold creeps in. I saw one of the screenings she did of this album, it’s such a masterclass and was a real revelation for me as to how human electronic performances can be.
4. Ryuichi Sakamoto – ‘Forbidden Colours’ (Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence Soundtrack)
I discovered Sakamoto through a synthesiser compilation and there are a few different versions of this song, all wonderful. His melodies can inhabit so many different forms, it’s staggering.
5. David Axelrod – ‘The Mental Traveller’
I started recording my debut album in LA, and I listened to Axelrod a lot whilst driving around. I’d love to be able to sit in on one of those Capitol sessions from back in the day.
Photo Credit: Tomm Roeschlein