Emerging retro soul singer-songwriter Curtis Harding has followed up last year’s Face Your Fear album with brand new single, “Where We Are”, an eight minute beauty that is packed with nostalgia for 60’s soul.
Harding, the son of a gospel singer (an influence you can still hear today), kicked off his career as a background singer for CeeLo Green. Cut to 2018, and he has two successful album and several international tours to his name, and is currently opening shows for rock legend Lenny Kravitz on his US tour. He’s also back in the studio.
“Where We Are”, as is typical of some many great soul songs, sees Harding singing about meeting a girl and planning a future together. It’s all quite sedate, with Harding leisurely introducing the chorus’ encouraging message; “It don’t matter where we are, as long as I got you to come on home to”, in his strong, yet tender voice. Harding’s pensive and soulful way of singing and the shifting in tones is as smooth as honey, and incredibly catchy. Whilst, the backbones of the track are the melodic section of violins, which create an almost orchestra-like sound, and a steady drum rhythm.
Without losing any of that authentic sound, Harding has updated old school soul, bringing in some rock elements and synthesisers. There are references to his blues and jazz influences, singing about a “plot of land in Mississippi”; the river delta of course played a major role in the development of blues. The track seamlessly fuses blues and jazzy soul not only in the pensive lyrics, but also in the musical composition. Towards the end the song peaks with an elaborate flute solo, accompanied by a heavy Cymbal-use beat giving it a low-key Jazz vibe. The effortless play with various styles within and beyond the soul genre leaves no doubt that Curtis Harding will “Keep On Shining”. “Where We Are”is a versatile and modern single paying homage to the music of the past, half a century later.