Harry Sproat – ‘Meditation’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Harry Sproat, the creative talent behind Hazza Studios, an independent production company in New Zealand that produces video and music projects. Collaborating with musician Matt Hammond, Sproat has released his most recent studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Meditation.’ The track, available now on iTunes via CD Baby, is also accompanied by a music video from Hazza Studios. Let’s delve into the two and see if they’re worth your time…

For an artist that just turned twenty, Sproat’s music is surprisingly well-realized and cohesive in its unique style. ‘Meditation’ seems to pull from a variety of influences: alternative rock, electronic, and shoegaze are all mixed into the amalgamation that is ‘Meditation,’ and the long, wandering verses have an ethereal, even psychedelic or Asian-influenced sound. (Sproat says that ‘Samurai Jack’ was an influence on the tune, which makes complete sense.)

Tonally, ‘Meditation’ strikes an interesting dichotomy between two very different states of mind. In his music video, Sproat wanders the woods gazing upon tranquil wildlife: ponds, ducks, all that zen stuff. He’s in search of peace, it would seem, and a random mentor, an inexplicable white guy dressed in an Asian rice hat, attempts to lead him to that divinity. These quiet meanderings are interrupted, however, with dramatic, bombastic interludes set to imagery of Donald Trump, police riots, slaughterhouses, and 9/11.

There’s something to really dig about ‘Meditation.’ It’s a bizarre, shoegaze-esque journey through trippy, if somewhat curiously culturally appropriated imagery. Sproat’s soft, off-note croonings are fascinating, and this is the kind of experimental music a huge part of the millennial crowd is gravitating toward right now. The central guitar riff is fantastic, too, and will surely be stuck in the listener’s head for days to come… 

Is it ground-breaking and completely excellent? No, not particularly. ‘Meditation’ is a fun listen that’s paired with a funky, film school project-like music video that includes a white guy in a conical hat chasing off a college student with a comb over and aviators by using his lightning-shooting acoustic guitar. The song and video are both jam-packed with ideas, though, and they’re indicative of a young talent that could grow leaps and bounds in the coming years. If ‘Meditation’ appeals to you, keep close tabs on Harry Sproat because he’ll likely improve and explore new themes with each release.