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Curtis Harding|If Words Were Flowers

If Words Were Flowers

Curtis Harding

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Curtis Harding has said that his third album is inspired by something his mother—a gospel singer who introduced him to music by Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples—used to say: "Give me my flowers while I'm still here." So he decided to pour out his love and appreciation, via song, for the people he loves before it's too late. Sometimes, that takes on a romantic bent: Bobbing along on rubber-band bass, "The One" finds Harding crooning, "Baby I'm the one/ Baby I'm the one/ Baby I'm the one you need," horns ascending along with him. Other times, it's for family, friends and community. "Hopeful" is a gorgeous, gospel-soul number, in the spirit of the Staples Singers, with majestic strings and a psychedelic breakdown. "Evolution of change to pulsate the mind state/ It's not impossible for our mission to succeed/ You ask 'Are we chosen?'/ I'll say 'Indeed,'" Harding sing-raps. "All the things that cause casualty to your soul/ Let it go/ Most of all be hopeful." Since his 2014 debut, Harding has been like a breath of fresh air, borrowing from garage rock, gospel, blues and, especially, the psychedelic soul of the Temptations and Isaac Hayes, to create something new that feels familiar without leaning too retro. (Leon Bridges also does this well.) Harding calls it "slop 'n' soul," as in the messy bits hogs are fed. "Can't Hide It" lays down a funk riff and insistent drums to go with a Curtis Mayfield style chorus and breakdown. The album's title track will raise the hair on your neck, it's so alive with bright trumpet and sax, and a choir that sounds as big as Up With People. "Explore" stretches out on a bed of slow-cruise drums, dirty sax and mid-century futuristic synth, Harding luxuriating in the cool R&B with Eddie Kendricks-style falsetto lines. He adopts an Auto-Tune rap for "So Low," which opens with spacey synth and a trilling flute that, later in the song, does backflips. "Where's The Love" snaps like the Temptations. "It's a Wonder" simmers in a bath of moody strings and dark, shadowy bass. And the gentle folk-and-soul rocker "Forever More" finds both Harding and the high trumpet parting the clouds like beacons of light. © Shelly RIdenour/Qobuz

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If Words Were Flowers

Curtis Harding

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1
If Words Were Flowers
00:02:48

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

2
Hopeful Explicit
00:05:16

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, MainArtist - Pete Min, Engineer - Sam Cohen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - JooJoo Ashworth, Engineer - Damon Moon, Engineer - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Mosswagon (ASCAP) - Figure 8 Publishing, MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

3
Can't Hide It
00:03:19

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

4
With You
00:03:42

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

5
Explore
00:04:46

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

6
Where's The Love
00:03:14

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

7
The One
00:04:00

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Sam Cohen, Composer, Lyricist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Mosswagon (ASCAP) - Figure 8 Publishing, MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

8
So Low
00:03:17

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

9
Forever More
00:03:14

Van Hunt, ComposerLyricist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Ludovic LOUIS, ComposerLyricist - Curtis Whitehead, ComposerLyricist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

10
It's A Wonder
00:03:56

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

11
I Won't Let You Down
00:04:04

Curtis Harding, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, MainArtist - Pete Min, Engineer - Sam Cohen, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - JooJoo Ashworth, Engineer - Damon Moon, Engineer - Figure 8 Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti 2021 Curtis Harding, under exclusive license to Anti

Album Description

Curtis Harding has said that his third album is inspired by something his mother—a gospel singer who introduced him to music by Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples—used to say: "Give me my flowers while I'm still here." So he decided to pour out his love and appreciation, via song, for the people he loves before it's too late. Sometimes, that takes on a romantic bent: Bobbing along on rubber-band bass, "The One" finds Harding crooning, "Baby I'm the one/ Baby I'm the one/ Baby I'm the one you need," horns ascending along with him. Other times, it's for family, friends and community. "Hopeful" is a gorgeous, gospel-soul number, in the spirit of the Staples Singers, with majestic strings and a psychedelic breakdown. "Evolution of change to pulsate the mind state/ It's not impossible for our mission to succeed/ You ask 'Are we chosen?'/ I'll say 'Indeed,'" Harding sing-raps. "All the things that cause casualty to your soul/ Let it go/ Most of all be hopeful." Since his 2014 debut, Harding has been like a breath of fresh air, borrowing from garage rock, gospel, blues and, especially, the psychedelic soul of the Temptations and Isaac Hayes, to create something new that feels familiar without leaning too retro. (Leon Bridges also does this well.) Harding calls it "slop 'n' soul," as in the messy bits hogs are fed. "Can't Hide It" lays down a funk riff and insistent drums to go with a Curtis Mayfield style chorus and breakdown. The album's title track will raise the hair on your neck, it's so alive with bright trumpet and sax, and a choir that sounds as big as Up With People. "Explore" stretches out on a bed of slow-cruise drums, dirty sax and mid-century futuristic synth, Harding luxuriating in the cool R&B with Eddie Kendricks-style falsetto lines. He adopts an Auto-Tune rap for "So Low," which opens with spacey synth and a trilling flute that, later in the song, does backflips. "Where's The Love" snaps like the Temptations. "It's a Wonder" simmers in a bath of moody strings and dark, shadowy bass. And the gentle folk-and-soul rocker "Forever More" finds both Harding and the high trumpet parting the clouds like beacons of light. © Shelly RIdenour/Qobuz

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