The band Harlan began when John Harlan Norris left his blue collar job in Spanish Harlem, New York City for a mountain cabin in his native Kentucky. An avid painter as well as a musician, he experimented with visual and sonic ideas in his Southern seclusion.
Now residing in Baton Rouge, LA, Norris has released an entirely self-produced album called The Still Beat. The quirky pop tunes are rooted in Appalachian folk and British Invasion, and feature catchy synthesizer and Norris's oft-lazy vocals. He ends up sounding somewhere between Jason Falkner and The Fall.
In addition to being included in the liner notes, the paintings on the left are from an exhibition also entitled The Still Beat in which the works were displayed with music from the album. Both bodies of work were developed simultaneously and "explore similar thematic and aesthetic territory," Norris says on his website.