Often we rely on music from the past to provide us with a comfortable nostalgia. For Curtis Harding, the spirit of late 1970s soul music instead became a platform for exploration. By borrowing choice musical elements from multiple eras and genres, Curtis Harding's debut solo album Soul Power has all the intensity of a throwback but fits happily in the present.
As a musician, Harding's experience is broad. The Michigan-bred, Atlanta-based songwriter has written and sung backup for Cee-Lo Green, spent time rapping with Georgia group Proseed, and currently plays in the band Night Sun with Cole Alexander and Joe Bradley of punk outfit Black Lips. But somehow, despite his history of songwriting, Soul Power (out May 6 on Burger Records) is Harding's first solo effort.
Soul Power takes the many musical influences Harding has encountered and re-contextualizes them over a foundation of energetic soul. Hints of smoky gospel harmonies, grungy garage rock, country blues and even disco find a meaningful place throughout the album. However, the footprint of soul, R&B and gospel -- unison brass, catchy rhythmic guitar riffs, driving irresistible beat -- is always present. It's an exciting sound that's sure to catapult Harding to a new level in the coming year.
Watch the music video for Curtis Harding's "Keep on Shining" from his new album Soul Power.