(l-r, Coomers, Curtis, Jose. In the background – not sure, but hopefully he won’t sue)
It’s a poorly kept secret around the office and the band’s hometown but one we can finally confirm — Matador has signed the Austin, TX trio HARLEM to a multi-record, worldwide deal.
Led by dual vocalists Michael Coomers and Curtis O’Mara (the duo switch between guitar and drums, both onstage and off), Harlem started in Tucson, AZ before relocating to Austin where they’ve generated a mountain of attention, both with their fantastic live shows and their self-issued 2008 LP/CD ‘Free Drugs’ (Female Fantasy — currently available via Matador Direct)
Pitchfork’s Roque Strew has hailed Harlem as “a marvel of cartoonishly masculine, crudely analog brevity”, while Gorilla Vs. Bear considers ‘Free Drugs’ to be “super infectious, instantly endearing”, and kindly supplying a quote that we’ll gladly take out of context, the Austin Chronicle’s Audra Schroeder has fallen preil to the album’s “anxious, stuttering charm”. I know, that all sounds highly suspicious, but anyone who’s heard ‘Free Drugs’ or witnessed Harlem laying waste to any number of shoebox sized venues (some of which, were in fact, shoeboxes) can attest, the band’s casual virtuosity is only eclipsed by their otherworldly songwriting skills.
Recently joined by bassist Jose Boyer, Harlem will be recording their 2nd album this summer for release on Matador in 2010.
Harlem – MySpace