Rising indie pop artist Harpooner, is premiering the romantic ballad and new single “Violet Rain” on American Songwriter. The tune is a melodic blend that reminds us of Rufus Wainwright vocals mixed with a Yellow Submarine-era Beatles beat.
“Violet Rain” blends beautiful string arrangements with delicate descending piano lines, offering fans a first bittersweet taste from his highly anticipated and soon to be announced sophomore release. The song is also the first official release since his critically acclaimed debut Rose Park.
Harpooner described his vision for the song to American Songwriter.
“Violet Rain is a great example of a counter-melody, the most unappreciated musical element,” he said. “I imagined the chromatic descending piano dropping down the scale just like the water from the sky. As it moves to the bridge, the tempo increases and bounces like ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ as we swirl round the circle of fifths. Man, I’m getting nerdy.
“Let’s just say I grew up in a Carole King favored house so I’m a sucker for a good ballad. I’ll leave you with my favorite lines from the chorus: We’ll watch the trees, listen to nature’s symphony, I’ll brush the edges of your face.”
Harpooner was born in 2014 – the solo project and brain child of Scott Schmadeke an Indiana transplant in Nashville, who first cut his teeth as a side player, performing with Houndmouth, Diane Coffee, Andrew Combs, and an exhaustive list of East Nashville groups. Recently he has also opened for acts like Rayland Baxter, Margo Price, and Jessica Lea Mayfield.
Those years touring with other bands helped him develop his eclectic style which has been compared to a diverse range of artists from Carole King to Tobias Jesso Jr. and described as chamber groove-pop. Never afraid to put handsome string quartet arrangements front and centre, Harpooner consistently delivers timeless piano power ballads with the vocal and lyrical eccentricity of a Nilsson-worthy melody.
The time on the road, and in travel, also inspired how this song came to be.
“Mount Pelée, a still-active volcano on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, looms above the coastline, a menace to the ocean-front towns packed modestly with locals of all classes, and little sailboats dotting the rich blue of the sea,” Harpooner described. “I arrived in Martinique to visit the woman I love, whose hearty welcome directed me through both the beauty of the island and the history of the woman.
“In the rustic environment, I was humbled by the foreign sounds of the animals and the sweet smells of the sugar cane and banana trees surrounding us. Above me, in the winter rains, the sky passed peacefully from blue to orange to violet. Each night as we lay to sleep, her voice and not strictly her words comforted me to sleep. The song was written here, where the boundaries between pride and humility, human and natural history, feeling and language dissipate.”