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Joel Plaskett Emergency – Harbour Boys

The music industry can be a morally and spiritually devoid wasteland, often forcing the creators of great art to sacrifice their integrity in order to make a quick buck, stay afloat and leave any ideals in the dust. Aside from the artists, famous music critics tend to play a part in the aforementioned ‘dream-crushing’ by swaying listeners to become increasingly negative, biting and cynical towards everything that flows through the headphones of the public.

Joel Plaskett has managed to navigate through the detritus of a plasticized terrain, staying true to his vision and often letting the listener experience an organic and heartfelt return to innocence.

Harbour Boys is the second single from JP’s upcoming album ‘Scrappy Happiness’ (which is being released at a rate of one song per week until March). The opening lyrical refrain screams of a youthful glow as the listener is transported warmly to a simpler time:

So much sadness on this earth / We get weary, we get hurt
What we need is not for sale / So set your heart down on the rail

The backdrop of a simple but far-away acoustic strum sounds like a bright, teenage-summer breeze as Joel waxes poetically about the things that really matter in life. His east-coast ‘baie’-ness has forged a bit of unique celebrity for him in Canada, but it has also allowed him to stay rooted in his musical values. JP’s love for the seaside Halifax region is vivid in every homegrown lyric of the chorus:

Sun goes down upon the bay / Looking for somewhere to play
I came here to bring the noise / To the island girls and the harbour boys

Joel’s honesty in both his musical mission and his simplistic love of his hometown are refreshing. Though not as rockin’ as the first single You’re Mine, Harbour Boys is the perfect, summer-splashed, solo-mellow contrast to the axe-wielding, drum-whacking soundquake of his band The Emergency.

by Matt McKechnie, Thick Specs