"Not Gambling" is the first single of the upcoming Shocking Pinks trilogy "Guilt Mirrors"—the first new album in over 6 years by former DFA and Flying Nun artist, Shocking Pinks (aka Nick Harte).
© 2013 Stars & Letters Records
℗ 2013 Nick Harte
"Not Gambling" written and produced by Nick Harte
Engineered and mixed by Mark McNeill
Mastered by We Are Temporary
New Zealand wunderkind Nick Harte’s musical exploration of pain, diaspora, and obsession are woven into a sprawling triple album that reconnects audiences with his dark, discordant, and intimate brand of “dream-pop-miserablism” (as Harte puts it). Somewhere between pastiche and mix-tape aesthetics, Guilt Mirrors is a bigger-than-life expression of the artistic process, exposing the white bones of former drug abuse, personal failure, transcendent epiphanies, and musical breakthroughs. It’s a record shaped just as much by time and loss, as it is by chords and melodies.
On February 22, 2011 a magnitude 6.3 earthquake ripped apart Harte’s home town of Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. While the death toll was relatively low compared to earthquakes in Haiti or Turkey, the earthquake completely ravaged the city, flattening the town area—and damaging Harte’s recording studio. With it’s local economy and infrastructure in tatters, Christchurch’s dynamic musical community evaporated almost overnight. In nearly complete isolation, Harte remained, painting his windows black and recording for multiple days in a row without sleep. The songs recorded during this time were some of his most desperate, conceived as an attempt of self-therapy.
It wasn’t until friends and family intervened that Harte finally relocated to Wellington, and Guilt Mirrors truly began to take shape. It wasn’t until he began unpacking his boxes and notebooks that Harte realized the immense scale of the material he had recorded over the years. In his estimation, he had “over 7 or 8 albums worth of material” (more than 300 demos and complete works). Instead of polishing the songs up to give them a commercial gleam and an artificial theme, Harte envisioned a record that reflected the truth of his life as he had experienced it: with highs and lows, failures and successes, stops and starts.
Influenced by the cinematic structure of auteurs like John Cassavetes, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Nicholas Winding Refn, Guilt Mirrors is a sprawling, haunting, beautiful, and at times violent and alienating trilogy, that is much less a curated “album” than it is a personal mix tape. While Guilt Mirrors may be alienating to some, it is a work of singularity and bravery, chronicling life in a bold and truthful way.
The Guilt Mirrors trilogy releases February 18, 2014 on Brooklyn label, Stars & Letters Records.
released 12 November 2013