“At the time the record was written I had never been in any sort of romantic relationship,” says Sofia Verbilla aka vocalist in Harmony Woods. This is portrayed in The Best Things – the second track from Nothing Special, which is the first full length record from the Philadelphia outfit. Singing “I’ve been avoiding feelings like the fucking plague,” is something we can all relate to from time to time.
“I have experienced the emotions alluded to on the record in some degree,” explains Sofia. Nothing Special is an accumulation of twelve tracks that slither around the melancholy depths of life through blissful vocals and gentle instrumentation.
“I kinda wanted to challenge myself and see if I was capable of writing songs of that nature. After writing a few songs I realised the songs already had similar themes, so I decided to write a record with a story behind it,” is the reason given for the tracks; and by listening to Nothing Special from track one to track twelve it is a massively pleasant treat for your ears.
From the emotionally charged Renovations where the protagonist questions whether it is the end, to Jenkintown-Wyncote where this time the protagonist travels to their lover on a half-hour regional rail journey which costs seven bucks. Again, this is a relatable theme being explored by Harmony Woods – how many times have we felt that no matter the distance or ticket cost, the end product is worth it? Endless times.
The creation of Nothing Special has been very much DIY for the band – and it featured Brendan (lead guitar), Ian (mastering) and Jake (producing/engineering/mixing) from Modern Baseball. With the Philadelphia scene coming together, Sofia tells us that ahead of recording, she “took them [the tracks] to my friends who played on the record to write the full band parts so it only took about four full days to record the whole thing.”
To be immersed in a scene that is booming at the moment is really fortunate for a musician of Harmony Woods’ style. Praising it, Sofia says “everyone is so talented and kind and supportive! I feel really lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful, uplifting people.”
A handful of bands from Philadelphia, PA are The War on Drugs, Beach Slang and the previously mentioned Modern Baseball. Harmony Woods are hoping to create a long-lasting name in Philly and will play a release show for Nothing Special there later this month. Ahead of the show, Sofia reveals that “We’re going to be playing the entire record on 16 May in full, which I am really stoked about! We are also going on tour this summer and it would be neat to do that for as many shows as possible!”
The future is bright for Harmony Woods, and it doesn’t look like burning out anytime soon. With bigger plans, Sofia leaves us with the promising message of “I’m pretty much always writing so hopefully by the end of the year we will have another record written and ready to be recorded!”
HARMONY WOODS – NOTHING SPECIAL IS OUT NOW