You’re probably pretty sick of me banging on about this guy, but fuck that, I can’t get enough. We went and caught the second Melbourne show of The Kite String Tangle‘s national tour, and it did not help my addiction. As he proudly told the crowd at his second Melbourne show, he has sold out every single ticket of his 12 date national headline tour (including 4 Melbourne shows – where he’s obviously got a large fan base) with only a handful of original songs on his Soundcloud and no EP to speak of. Danny Harley hails from Brisbane and started his journey as The Kite String Tangle back in May 2012. His music is best described as ambient and ethereal electronic, with plenty of cool beats, sample usage and vocal layering.
It was a busy crowd in the intimate setting of the Northcote Social Club. The Kite String Tangle had strived to create an atmospheric setup with a fog machine that seemed to continuously run right throughout his set. In lieu of the lasers and flashing lights that are usually seen at electronic music gigs, Harley instead used old-school light bulbs and fluorescent lighting to put on a lightshow and decorate his stage. Add in his mop of curly, half-shaven head, tightly buttoned shirt, and where else could we be but Northcote?
Straight from the start, it was obvious how multi-talented he is. He was constantly switching between all his equipment and instruments as well as supplying the vocals in every song. It was perhaps slightly difficult for the audience to really engage with all of The Kite String Tangle’s original music as he has only released a limited amount of music available to the public; however, it wasn’t hard to get into the great music regardless, particularly as he definitely made an effort to keep it entertaining. On the second song he played, “What If”, and on one of the last songs called “The Words”, he put on a show by expressively and almost theatrically smashing it out on the electronic drum kit. He also struck a perfect balance between performing the music and interacting with the crowd.
A highlight was definitely his sultry cover of Lorde‘s “Tennis Court”. Both he and the crowd got into it and there was quite an endearing moment when in unison, the audience provided the back up vocals and sung back the echoing “yeah”. At one stage he did mention that it “seems fuller than it did the last two nights…and rowdier”. Perhaps due to it being a Monday night, when all the uni students come out to play? Another highlight was a fun duet with Back Back Forward Punch‘s singer Laura Boland halfway through his set. He told the crowd that he created this song with a girl from his hometown Brisbane, but is getting a different girl to sing it in every state for this national tour. The introduction of a different set of vocals definitely gave the set more variety and kept it exciting.
Towards the end, he roused the audience by playing one of his more famous tunes “Commotion”, but it was nothing in comparison to the excitement when he ended the show with “Given the Chance” (my favourite song of 2013). This track needed no introduction; it came in at an impressive 19 on the Triple J’s Hottest 100 last year and is definitely the one that launched him from the unknown into where he is now.
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia.
Upcoming EP: He mentioned we can look forward to an EP being released around April.
Sounds like: Chet Faker, Mount Kimbie, Active Child.
Say what? Danny Harley started out studying a Bachelor of Popular Music in Brisbane with a focus on jazz.
An edited version of this article was first published on SYN Reviews.
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