- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Thompson @ Digital Picnic
We catch up with our new favourite newcomer, Harvey Causon, who crafts cinematic soundscapes that fluctuate between tender electronica and post-midnight R&B that can be found in his latest track 'Half Hour Verve'.
Following the release of his warm ‘Blind Eye’ single, we have been keeping an eye on this rising artist who creates music that sits at the intersection of old and new, where nostalgia meets the near-distant future in all of its bittersweet glory.
The multi-hyphenate creative Harvey Causon has been quietly perfecting his craft over the years in the Bristol alternative scene, and is now ready to step into his own spotlight with the release of his latest track ‘Half Hour Verve’. A track that takes you on a journey through Causon’s raw and vulnerable lyricism, whilst his production paints a sonic picture in your mind of a cinematic score. Ultimately, Harvey crafts music to reflect in, or to get lost in, even if just for a few minutes.
The singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist is well on his trajectory into something great with a string of exceptional releases off of his upcoming EP. It’s clear to hear that Harvey has been surrounded by the creative air of music his whole life, whilst his honest writing puts him years beyond his age. Leaving him one step ahead of the game, we don’t think this will ever change.
There’s something to be said about Causon’s vast and endearing soundscape that exists within the realm of dance-based R&B – where emotive lyrics stop you in your tracks and the beat helps move you along again. Perhaps Harvey’s music is supposed to make you pause, only to then restart you again.
We caught up with our favourite one to watch amidst isolation to talk his latest release, falling in love and how he is staying creative in a strange time to exist in the world.
If you could summarise it, what would be the story of how you became a musician?
My mum was a dancer and my dad sold and developed music recording gear so I’ve been doing the singing, writing and dancing malarky for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to have a piano and a guitar in the house from dot, so as soon as I could I started playing. The first instrument I personally had was a little glockenspiel and my dad bought back a load of percussion from the Frankfurt Musikmesse when I was about 3, so I guess my palette hasn’t really changed too much over two decades.
How would you describe your sound?
At the moment it seems to be a synergy of electronic and analogue elements. It’s something like alternative RnB with darker dance-based tendencies. I’d really like not to be boxed and for the music to keep changing. I wanna write for film and keep things interesting for myself. I have a lot of music that I’ll get out at some point that’s quite different from what I have released.
What have you learned about yourself in isolation?
That I am grateful for music, how much I value social interaction and that my phone is the devil. For the first two weeks, I went a bit nocturnal, realised the ideas come best at night. Without the anxiety of feeling like I ought to be waking up earlier, I’ve just been writing all night which was refreshing. Initially felt like I had been gifted with boundless time without the usual FOMO, then this kind of wore off about two weeks ago and I had a moment where the whole situation dawned on me a bit more and I really started to miss some friends and some relationships that were just starting out. I find it so fascinating from an anthropological and metaphysical point of view that such huge numbers of people are potentially experiencing similar emotions at once. I sometimes wonder what the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Lab is reporting at the moment.
What are some of your first memories of music?
Seeing Stevie Wonder at the O2 was my first gig and I remember being completely bewildered whilst my sister slept through the whole thing. I remember just always getting a kick out of performing and writing music must have annoyed a lot of family and friends as a kid.
What’s the best part of being an artist? The worst?
The best part is being able to document expression and layers of thought. Flow state and the rush of creating something from a concept or just a feeling is almost meditative, helps me understand my thoughts like the music is ahead of me if that makes sense. The worst thing is the constant flux of mood, self-analysis and the overbearing need to write over absolutely anything makes relationships and priorities difficult to manage.
What is something that not many people would know about you?
I used to do ballet as a kid and I was in a few embarrassing tv adverts.
What energy do you want to give off when you perform live?
I want the set to portray, like a good film, a mixture of emotions. Eventually, I’d like to have all sorts of one-off gigs in interesting venues with much bigger production, working with lots more movement, creatives and musicians.
How are you managing to keep creative in isolation?
I’ve been going through all my old phone recordings and making tracks out of little juicy field recordings, chord progressions or melodies. I’ve also had some commission stuff for films and remixes so that has kept me on track. I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Lost Pianos Of Siberia’ which goes through the Tsarist regime, The Decembrists, the beauty and sheer expanse of Russia, what exile was like past the Urals and the fascination of Lisztomania. Sophy Roberts writes so beautifully about such inspiring people and how crazy Russia’s history is. Also been watching some great films; Goodfellas, Shoplifters and been obsessed with all of Luca Guadagnino’s work.
What does being in love feel like for you?
A positive distraction from my mind.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
It’s between; ‘Chance favours the prepared mind’ and ‘A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a great truth’ Michael Berry (Quantum Physicist).
Do you have a favourite lyric you’ve written right now?
“His porridge order bordered
A lonely Irish tone
His styptic looked immaculate”
I like the phonetics and didn’t change them from the initial conception for once, which is unusual for me.
If you could say one thing to baby Harvey, what would it be?
Don’t get so caught up psychoanalysing everything and trying to understand it all. Be present and enjoy everything as it happens.
What’s your star sign? Do you think you’re like your star sign?
I had to look this up, I’m a Capricorn! A lot are quite generic, a lot of my mates/ex’s are Taurus and Cancer. Not sure if I fully back it, I think there’s so much more complexity to our behavioural traits and cognitive biases than the month you were born. But, I definitely like to hustle and I’m fairly ambitious and yeah I like music haha. I definitely have given up a lot to achieve goals but then again I’m definitely not an unforgiving person, I think I let a lot slippppp.