Brett Harris to Release 'Mr Sunshine' EP on 9/9
Brett Harris, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Durham, NC, will be releasing the Mr. Sunshine EP on September 9. The 4 song EP was recorded with Jeff Crawford (Mandolin Orange, The Old Ceremony) between Brett's touring as a member of jangle pop progenitors The dB's and his performing as a core band member in the live performances of Big Star's Third.
The four songs on this EP come from various places and projects, but all came into being within a very short window of time. The seeds were planted on the night of Harris's Man of Few Words album release show. As Harris was about to take the stage, his producer/bassist turned to him and said, "We should really start working on your next record."
Harris explains, "That harmless quip, coupled with the fear of figuring out how I was going to keep a roof overhead and food on the table as my wife and I were losing our day jobs, led to a season where I really didn't write all that much. One reason was that I was touring more than I ever had before and had never had to write on the road, let alone tour solo. Another reason was that for the first time in my life I had a lot of people weighing in on what they thought my songs and my next record should be like. I felt like I was writing for someone other than myself and didn't have a sense of where to begin. I managed to stay busy riding the album release cycle, producing and working on other recording projects, and touring with other bands. It was around this time that Chris Stamey asked me if I would come to his studio and audition a song for a show project he was working. The project was the first live performance of Big Star's Third and the song was "Kangaroo". Prior to this I was only familiar with #1 Record and Radio City, but something in that song resonated with me and Chris asked if I would be a part of the show. I've been involved with every performance of Third since.
Playing two sold out nights at Cat's Cradle and working alongside the likes of Jody Stephens, Mike Mills, and Mitch Easter rejuvenated me and carried me into the New Year with a rekindled desire to write. The three additional songs on the record came within a relatively quick span shortly thereafter."
The song the EP takes its name from, "Mr. Sunshine", was inspired by an encounter with a well-known entertainer at an appliance store where Harris was working. Harris describes, "I had never encountered that kind of wealth and celebrity from the vantage point of one in a service role and it left a really bad taste in my mouth. Mr. Sunshine became a symbol of the beautiful moments that surround us yet often go neglected as we are increasingly drawn into our own devices and these worlds or personas we construct to hide from who we really are."
Harris's first full length album, Man of Few Words, was featured by Paste Magazine's "Best of What's Next", NPR's "All Songs Considered: Second Stage" and made several "Best of 2010" lists, drawing comparisons to the music of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, and Emitt Rhodes.
Brett Harris will be touring this summer and fall, check out his website for dates. He plans to release a full length album in early 2015.
Preview the Mr Sunshine EP here.