House of Harm are proud to announce the forthcoming release of their new album Playground, out December 1st, 2023. The new record builds and expands upon the three-piece’s enthralling shadow-pop sound, a mix of midnight atmospherics, 90s era jangle pop, and contagious synth drenched hooks that further elevate the transcendent vocals of lead singer Michael Rocheford. Rounded out by Cooper Leardi (guitar / synths) and Tyler Kershaw (guitar / synth), House of Harm have amassed an impressive following as something of a best kept secret among their growing fanbase, leading to sold out shows on both coasts by the power of word of mouth alone.
In conjunction with the album announcement House of Harm are releasing the new single “Roseglass” along with an accompanying music video. The video for the song was shot at a public marketplace in southeastern Massachusetts, a departure from the band’s past music videos, which had all been filmed in private settings. “Roseglass”, shares Rocheford, “is about the human cycle of putting yourself into situations where you feel like you’re an intruder for the sake of a better outcome later.” The scrutiny from the passers by made filming the video an uncomfortable bit of exhibitionism for the band, playing into that theme. “We wanted to show the audience what it would feel like for us to jump out of our usual skin and try to unsettle ourselves publicly to lay the groundwork for what lies ahead on this album.”
The journey of their new album Playground saw House of Harm stay true to that ethos. “We started writing songs for the album in 2021,” says Rocheford, “and actually had about 75 to choose from by 2022.” The band painstakingly narrowed the record down to an efficient 10 tracks that they felt made the most sense, both standing on their own as well as fitting into an LP that built a cohesive world for the listener to get lost in. “This group of songs just feels like a playground to us," he shares of the album title’s genesis.
The album’s name also reflects the experimentation and happy accidents that came about during the writing and recording process. “We really tried to expand our sound, but a lot of the new ground we broke ended up being unintentional somehow.” On “The Face of Grace” they set out to explore different dynamics by writing a song entirely without drums, but couldn't help themselves from putting emphasis on the song’s 6/8 waltz time signature. “Two Kinds” is another first for House Of Harm in that it’s predominantly driven by acoustic guitar. “The more you strip away from a song, the less there is to hide behind,” says Rocheford. “This vulnerability added a new dynamic that we fully embraced.” That aforementioned vulnerability shows up in other areas of the songwriting process as well with “Two Kinds” highlighted by Rocheford as one of the most revealing songs for him personally to date from a lyrical standpoint, “written from a place of reflection and weakness” and tackling feelings he hasn’t always felt comfortable putting on display for public consumption. Taken as a whole, the end result is an album representing a collection of the band’s most raw and expressive songs yet.
House of Harm are excited for fans to hear Playground in full upon its December 1st release, and can’t wait to play the songs live for audiences in the coming months.
RIYL: The Cure, Fearing, Korine, Soft Kill