Rory Simmons is a successful musician, producer and composer now searching for a sound to call his own. Debut track ‘Melt In Olive’ marks such a venture and introduces his new project Harlequiin to the world.
Following a successful career touring with the likes of Bat for Lashes, Mount Kimbie, Paolo Nutini and The 1975, as well as writing for scores for BBC Proms and tracks for big-name television stations, it would seem Simmons wasn’t satisfied to be a musician behind the scenes.
This first creative outlet displays a love for electronic, especially in an R&B-laced, beat-woven form. At the opening of ‘Melt In Olive’, the almost five minute tracks starts with a smattering of electronic beats, that one could described as chilled dancehall, and wonky synths that will go on to create a consistent flow throughout the track. As the track progresses, Simmons continues to add layers of texture, whether it’s clipped and warped vox, a funk-style bass synth or weird intermittent beats that escape current vocabulary. Atop the kaleidoscopic electronics, dreamily drifts guess artist Elliot Cole’s smooth vocals.
Cole also impresses with tapered, R&B screams in the closing moments of ‘Melt In Olive’, where Simmons also picks away various elements until we’re left with that electronic melody and Pete Ibbetson’s drum work.