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Fairbanks, Alaska, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Fairbanks, Alaska, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Folk Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Alaska Dispatch News"

The Fairbanks music ensemble Harm, lead by vocalist Rebecca File, recently shot a video for the song "Between a Rock & a Rock (is the distance spent searching for fertile soil)" atop Murphy Dome. The song is from the group's debut self-titled EP, which is composed of a revolving cast of musicians.

The experimental music project includes cello, upright bass, beatboxing, clarinet with hip-hop, classical and folk influences. The lyrics explore themes of gender identity and sexuality, and tend to be stoic and dark. "Between a Rock & a Rock" started off as a poem penned by beat boxer Heather Warren, and the video features 20 women who answered a call for female-identified individuals to participate in the project.

Harm says of its unusual sound and approach, "Whether the music compels you to dance, or intently listen,it leaves you with a feeling that is hard to describe and not easily dismissed.”

Harm will be performing at the Spectrum Festival in Chickaloon on July 25. - Alaska Dispatch

"With a sound and a beat, making music out of Harm's way"

ANCHORAGE — As they buck any wayward notion of conformity, Harm continues to sound unlike anything any of us have heard before. But the women and men who make up the Fairbanks band are as welcoming, and welcome, as a ray of sunshine in spring.
The six players that comprise Harm made their first trip to play shows in Anchorage and Talkeetna last weekend, already having traveled once to Texas in the past year. It is hard to believe the group just formed in October and played its first Fairbanks shows in December, judging by the way they stay syncopated and considering the soaring vocals and the human-powered “drum.”
The beatboxing is the work of Fairbanks resident Heather Warren — a poet graduating soon from the University of Alaska with a master’s degree in creative writing — who has also contributed lyrics that lead singer and band organizer Rebecca File arranged into several songs. Harm’s other tunes are written by File, the driving force behind the group’s sound, its make up and logistics.
But Warren’s mouth and the beat that springs forth are easily the most unique aspect of Harm’s sound, which would already be incomparable without her. As File and bandmate Laila O’Sullivan’s layered, operatic vocals and O’Sullivan’s clarinet swoop to and fro, Warren is as solid as a metronome — never getting too fancy or out of breath to play a full hour-long show — and always matching up perfectly with Jon Heintz on the upright bass. This is all without looking at Heintz or communicating in any way — “muscle memory,” Warren called it. Rounding out the band are cellist Molly McDermott and guitarist Jack Ewers.
“The impression I get from people that come up and say something to us is surprise,” McDermott said. “Like they’re trying to form a category in their mind that they sort of don’t have the words for yet. I like that because it’s easier to dismiss something if you already have the word for it.”
Such was the case with Harm’s first Southcentral show, at the Fairview Inn in Talkeetna on April 23. Having only performed outside of Fairbanks once before, this first stop on the “mini-tour” was somewhat intimidating, the band members said. That was because they were not sure how a bluegrass-loving town would receive their different sounds.
A packed house showed up. Women, and some men, danced. Most were transfixed and listening. Three new, separate Harm fans asked when the band was coming back. They wanted something other than bluegrass.
It was what File, a veteran of the defunct band Feeding Frenzy, had been hoping for, she said. Warren, who brings the chill beat that makes Harm what it is, said the trip had been highly rewarding.
“We want it to be something that’s different, unique, that will draw people in,” Warren said. “My favorite aspect of the band is kind of the thematics we have going on, in terms of the lyrics.”
Listen a little, and you might sway, rock back and forth, and hold your date a little tighter. Listen closer, and you just might want to tear down the patriarchy hovering over the world.
Some of the messages in Harm’s lyrics are subtle, but the one about “There are men like shadows pressing through our chests / pressing spears against our skulls and carving in our skin / carving dyke into our skin,” a Warren poem, is not one of them. And that is not to say that Harm’s unapologetic feminism is a threat. Just a way of slamming into the establishment, full force.
“Obviously there’s a movement happening right now,” File said. “And it’s my way, and definitely Heather’s way, and our way, of being a part of it. It’s not our only identity, for sure.”
“It’s not a hostility at all,” she said. It’s absolutely just trying to be positive and build up the confidence that surrounds you.”
Coming to Anchorage was surely a confidence-building exercise.
Harm played the Taproot Public House stage April 24 to an enthusiastic crowd. The dance floor was full, and it is likely that none of them had heard what had been described as “psych folk.”
That description is not apt, though many have struggled to put a label on Harm. The closest comparison might be Portishead, but even that does not come close.
The next night, Harm played a house show to a much smaller audience, maybe 20 or 25 people. They were right at home, and in fact, a good proportion of those in attendance were Fairbanksans. The applause was still heavy at the end of each song, and Harm did not need anyone shouting their praises to know that an encore was in order.
Friends of the band spent the weekend handing out Harm’s short, four-song album, which runs just a little more than 18 minutes. There is more coming, File and Warren said, as the group has many more songs ready to record. For now, they are handing the CDs out for free and asking for a donation at harmalaska.bandcamp.com.
They are also playing shows all summer, the next of which is Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4448 Pikes Landing Road. Harm plays The Marlin a week later, May 8. The top of their fliers state, “We have more in common than you think.”
There may be scheduling trouble in the summer — for example, McDermott leaves to do graduate field research soon — but everyone expressed great interest in just being near each other, let alone playing music.
“I’m interested in playing and spending as much time with these people in general,” McDermott said. - News Miner

"Musical Mad Lib"

Our sound is Psych-Folk, with hip hop influences that works to defy notions of musical normativity. Our influences are vast, but some include Bjork, Jeff Buckley, Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush, Cocorosie, Nirvana, Nina Simone, Tribe Called Quest… We’re confident that our music will surprise you.

People often compare us to Portishead, but often it feels like people just want to compare [a band] to the first [one] they can think of with a woman in it.

The toughest thing about our band right now is that [our sound isn’t] viewed as super safe (which is purposeful and great) but we have had trouble getting into parts of the Alaska festival scene because we aren’t alt. rock/country/bluegrass.

Our best experience as a band is getting to perform in Fairbanks. People are so open, supportive and energetic. I can’t imagine a better community to get to grow-up in, as an ensemble together. We also got to play at SXSW at a showcase curated by Mother Falcon. Getting to meet and play alongside this group of people who we have respected and admired for years was unbelievable. - Beat & Pulse Alaska


Still working on that hot first release.



 Harm is an Alaskan ensemble that defies the bounds of typical genre standards. Blending psych-folk and hip-hop with classical themes the experimental chamber group defies any notion of musical normativity. Focused on texture and lyrical activism, Harm utilizes upright bass, cello, harmonium, banjo, clarinet, guitar, beat boxing and vocal layering to explore themes of violence, gender and sexuality. Whether the music compels you to dance or intently listen it leaves you with a feeling that is hard to describe, and not easily dismissed.

Band Members