Review: Small Town Chains - Harriet Rose


Small town chains

Since the turn of the year, in particular the lock down of the UK, live gigs haven’t been prevalent, and we have all had to turn to live streaming on Facebook, Instagram and twitch. Its affected so many people within the industry, in particular independent artists. The biggest benefit to this situation, is the discovery of artists we wouldn’t normally get to witness. For me, one of the biggest surprises was discovering the talented and powerful voice of Harriet Rose.

Based in a small miner’s town on the outskirts of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Harriet brings the soul and vocal ability to compete with the likes of Twinnie, The Adelaides and Kezia Gill! One of her biggest standout performances was being a part of the SW20 Country Spring Music Festival which happened over a few days which saw the performances of over 40 artists and groups which penultimately ended with Harriet winning the award for Best Solo Act!

During these shows, she performed a collection of her songs, all of which hadn’t been officially released, one being Small Town Chains which sounded amazingly with just an acoustic guitar and an oversized American Flag as a backdrop. I genuinely thought this song couldn’t have been made any better in terms of quality of song and quality of the artist.

I couldn’t be any more wrong!

Small Town Chains, released on Friday 21st August, will be Harriet’s debut single release and the production on this song is everything you need to get fired up, to get that foot stamping on the ground and to scream at the top of your lungs, in the car, the shower or in the middle of the street like a raving lunatic. Yes, it is really is that catchy and so upbeat!

Let’s start with Harriet’s vocals and lyricism.

Harriet starts the first verse with a very fast paced read of her lyrics broken up with the smooth oohs. She describes living in a small town (‘built on a picket line’ referring to the miners strikes in the 80’s) where everybody knows everybody, there can be no secrets and everybody has to be involved in your life, in particular tearing you down.

She then leads into the chorus describing getting the courage to leave the place that’s holding her back and actually get out into the world to achieve her dreams!

Cause these Small Town Chains they can’t hold me back no more, cause I got some big time plans that’s all I’m living for.

She screams this at the top of her lungs with such control and clarity, any living mortal would struggle not to blow their voice, crack mid-way or have to stop to catch their breath. And with the same control she can slow the tempo right down with the volume.

Going into second verse she talks about being told that she won’t be able to make it in the big world leading straight in to the 2nd chorus which acts as a great f you to the people that tried to break her spirits!

Between the 2nd Chorus and the final chorus there is a wonderful bridge where Harriet’s vocals have this wonderful electronic distortion (those that know me, knows that I absolutely love it when artists add a bit of distortion to their voices), it creates that image of listening to somebody on an old car stereo out in the sticks. In the bridge she repeats the moving on up lyric which steadily gets louder and then slams straight into the final chorus with her volume cranked straight up to 11.

Now, the instrumentation!

Starting with a heavily distorted country music pedal steel or resonator with a wonderful lick, an acoustic guitar the drops in to create the rhythm and tempo followed with wonderful layering of drums bass and a snazzy little acoustic guitar riff in the chorus. Everything about this track is amazing, from the positioning of the instruments from the loud chorus where everything builds up to the low kick drum during the distorted bridge. Everything just works perfectly.

It’s like everything country music, mixed with amazing vocals, instruments have huddled together, gone into a group hug and somehow merged together to form a thing of beauty.

If Small Town Chains is Harriet Roses debut single, then I am really, REALLY excited for her future in the industry!


You can now buy and stream Small town Chains on anywhere you get your music and be sure to follow Harriet on her socials!

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