Harris thinks of the songs on her second CD with her band Edith as car songs, to be played as loud as the street-shaking block rocking beats and classic rock anthems that blare from car windows rolled down when the sun is high. Chances are good that in the time it takes for a traffic light to turn from red to green, Edith's original brand of modern sonic rock anchored by Harris' driving rhythm guitar and her darkly humored lyrics would hook the ears of fellow drivers, and anyone else in the vicinity.
Harris began her musical life like many do, listening and then obsessing on music she heard while riding in cars with the music turned way up. Typical classic rock streamed from the car speakers and into her ears, like Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, the Stones, Clash, and Zeppelin. She then detoured to discover singers and songwriters that were like alternate routes along well-traveled highways: Smith, Davies, Rundgren, Nick Lowe, Pretenders, Feelies, Palace Brothers, Velvet Underground. They mapped out a style of writing, playing, and rebellious integrity that she would follow when it came time to write and record her own music after college.
Harris started writing songs in her mid-20s to cope with a period of sadness. She played bass guitar, at first, then switched to guitar because if gave her hands more to do. She performed solo for a while, bounced between a couple of bands, and started Edith in 1998. She wanted the band to have a name that could also belong to a kid's pet or an old woman.
Edith's debut disc, Outfit, hit the streets in 2000. Produced by Eric Brosius of Tribe fame, and David Minehan, the 11 tracks caught the ears of DJs and writers for underground radio and press as well as critics at the Boston Globe. All praised the CD for its hip, jangly, modern pop sound and for Harris' ironic and dry-witted lyrics. With Outfit, Harris accomplished a goal: to make a record that was loud and good.
Edith's second CD, another 11-song collection called Hunker Down, is produced by Chris Rival. Harris describes the CD as more raw than the last, and the recording process as more spontaneous and from-the-gut (Harris was pregnant with her new daughter, Abby, while working on the project.) The band includes former Weaklings' guitarist and drummer Dan Jordan and Matthew Burke, and bassist Pete Sutton, of Trona and Ray Corvair fame. The quartet has a tight, sonic rock delivery. After one night of a month-long residency this spring to debut songs from Hunker Down, an audience member approached Harris and told her the band was like "Frank Black meets early Pretenders."
Harris already has written songs for a third CD, and plans on recording many more in the coming years. She doesn't have a driving ambition to court commercial success. She likes playing clubs filled by her loyal following that she describes as "serious lovers of new music." Between recording and gigging, she might be found cruising in her car, turning-up the volume to share her favorite songs with those around her, or tuning in "Car Talk" to listen for her song "Naked," which is in part a tribute to her long-gone but good old Dodge Dart.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Digging Around
2. Peek Into Your Window
3. Suffering Again
4. One Weekend Away
5. Coming Up Dry
7. Packing Up
9. Wild Card
10. Miracle Thing
11. Deny It