BY AMBRELYN RODRIGUEZ
Before working with Oof Records to release his latest project, lo-fi indie pop artist Harley Alexander spent time reflecting on his identity; and, according to a press release for “Love Language,” “freaking the heck out while trying to figure out how to keep existing.” I felt it was important to include that detail, since so much of this release reflects that growth. I’m Feeling Things addresses the anxieties around building new relationships, opening ourselves up to love, and manifesting positivity. Throughout the six tracks in this EP, Harley takes us on a journey, using lyricism similar to a stream of consciousness, to replicate what happens internally when you’re feeling certain emotions.
The first track of this release, “I’m Feeling Things” reminds me to be positive — tempting me to plunge into a new type of love. This song sets the precedence for the rest of the EP with it’s upbeat instrumentation, soothing tone, and the occasional deep, low background vocals. The track ends with some positive affirmations: “I’m okay, it’s okay”.
“Green Pillow” starts off much slower and gives off a seemingly sad sound until the chorus, “Green Pillow! / Green Hair!” following an upbeat rift. I liked how this song created a tangible interpretation of growth, by connecting it to greenness or sustenance of life. With respect to the emotional conviction behind the color green, Oof records is releasing green cassette tapes of “I’m Feeling Things” (with 10% profits going to BLM Nova Scotia).
Next is “Love Language”, one of my favorite songs from I’m Feeling Things. The song opens with Harley Alexander singing, “Fill me, fill me up with love,” which is followed by dynamic instrumentation. I like this song for both its robust sound and lyrical content. The layering of different audio bits pairs well with the concepts behind the song and building a connection with someone through understanding their love languages.
With touching honesty, “No More Tries” shows how hard it can be to combat your own worst thoughts. Alexander expresses frustration in a way that is strikingly relatable, “Theres a perpetual fog saying / you’re fucking useless, stop trying to live / theres nothing worse than you thats ever existed.”
At this point in the EP, Alexander pivots to a more positive, personal perspective. “Exactly You Now” feels almost like a plan for how Alexander is determined to take control of himself and his emotions. While commenting on the importance of self-love and caring for others, this track reminds its listeners that they are exactly where they should be right now, in this moment.
Finally is “Riverbank,” my favorite track from I’m Feeling Things. This song feels like a happy day stuck in a bubble of a memory. I can really envision being at the riverbank, seeing life from Alexander’s perspective as he and his hypothetical future kids play at the river. “Riverbank” is a fitting ending to this release, feeling like a final culmination of the love and tenderness that Alexander sings about in each of the other songs.
I’m Feeling Things was released at a point in time when self preservation requires us to love ourselves and those around us. The entire EP flows as a thought, making it that much more relatable and honest to how people experience feelings and intense emotion. If you are feeling things right now, stream I’m Feeling Things and let Harley Alexander put words to the process.
STREAM “I’M FEELING THINGS” AND SUPPORT HARLEY ALEXANDER