Published Jan 28, 2020In December, CBC Music named Kim Harris's Heirloom one of the 25 albums to look forward to in 2020. Aptly, Harris responded with a record that holds that anticipation against memories of the past. After all, what are heirlooms if not remnants from our lives that remind us who we are, and who we can be?
Were Heirloom to take the form of a body, the percussive chant of "What You Carry" would be the record's spine, twisting smoothly with the arrival of a synth line. "Uproar" — as the most physically active song — becomes the dancing legs, and titular "Heirloom" is a broken, pulsing heart, driven by deeper vocals and eventual bursting.
"Once You Were Wondrous" is a shift to the mind. Poetry and pace changes navigate sound and silence; the piece comes together in a sprawling anthem against self-doubt, and the ways our own confidence can alter us as much as anyone else. Breakup songs may be a throughline in Harris's explorations of change, but independence and individuality are at the core. What else might you expect from an album that was released during and in celebration of Aquarius season?
"We were the feverish with polished breath and wild eyes / upheavals of confidence blowing secrets through our clothesline," Harris sings on "Aquarius," setting a reminiscent tone for the space the album exists in. Heirloom is a languid offering from the aftermath. Here, there are no promises that it will become easier, but evidence that there is another side to see from. (LHM Records)