Written by Maria Arroyo
Multi-instrumentalist Corey Harper shares his emotionally moving EP Overcast, which may be the most personal he’s ever gotten in his music. Harper plays almost every instrumental himself but has help from his collaborator Dave Lubben. Returning to his roots in Portland for a source of inspiration, Overcast features Harper playing nearly every instrument himself, co-writing all six songs, and splitting production duties with collaborator Dave Lubben (Halsey, Gnash).
“Most of the record deals with things I’ve never talked about in my music before,” Harper says. “I was able to come up with these songs because I was in my hometown, surrounded by familiarity and memories. It’s like I had a home-court advantage. This is a project about finding myself through my music, and hoping I can leave a trail for others to find themselves within it, as well.”
There was no preparing me for the incredible masterpiece that is Overcast.
“Overcast” is probably the best intro song I’ve ever heard. Most intros are always 30-second snippets of instrumentals that may or may not enhance the album. When I hear an artist with a vocally-strong intro, as a vocalist myself, it’s such a huge step into the positive for me. It highlights very briefly into the incredible moments this EP has to offer.
His next song “Entertainment” is one that really resonates with me, and I think can resonate with others, especially those in the music industry. If you’re just starting out, there are so many hats to wear and the roles we have to play. All of the extra responsibilities can really get to be overwhelming and can feel like you’re being torn down in the process.
Harper shares another intimate part of his life in “Fade To Black” where he talks about his brother’s drug abuse. He created such a strong emotional pull, and the words fell so delicately off his tongue. It was lyrics like: “Everybody lies when they say they’re fine… I’m fine… should call my brother back, you’re just another type of unsatisfied, afraid of anything that makes me sad… they say everything fades to black, but it already feels like that” and it hit me in the most real and rawest form I think any song ever has (or at least I thought it did before I got to the next song, but you’ll see why). There’s so much heart and realness to this song. I don’t know if it’s because we are in a time where we need music that is honest to show us a little more perspective, but I know I needed it.
“Crave” has a very R&B-type vibe driving the song, but with this essence of intimacy and sensuality that really contrasts each other, but works really well together. While this song has a lot more going on, “Pinball” is on the simple side, but still enjoyed it the same. Harper is able to tap straight into the feelings that bring the song to life.
The biggest turning point for Overcast is the heartbreaking song “25.” It’s performed live, and there isn’t anything I would change about it. Some of the brilliant lyrics “Did you really not want to stay? cuz I’m so tired of he’s in a better place… Oh, I wish you could have made it to 25” brought me over the edge in tears.
“This song  is about my best friend who took his own life several years ago…” Harper shares. People who have, unfortunately, experienced this kind of loss can really relate to this song. I came close to that myself and almost lost the more important person in my life, but I’m so grateful that I won’t have to sing this song for him.
“Outro” has a very beautiful piano interlude, and the fact that it’s right after the hardest song in the EP for me to listen to, it was a great way to bring me back to reality, and couldn’t have been placed better.
Harper shares that Overcast is the most personal release that he’s ever done. It’s a collection of songs tackling “situations of the strained bonds between loved ones; the mourning of friends who are no longer with us; the desire to live a life that’s honest, meaningful, and real, despite the distractions of modern-day existence.” Having such a personal song on this release just makes me love and appreciate the EP as a whole that much more. “It’s music that guides people through tough times,” Harper shares, and I couldn’t agree more.
Connect with Corey Harper