Jaimee Harris’s “The Fair And Dark Haired Lad” Deftly Personifies Addiction

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Watch Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel-directed video today; From upcoming album, Boomerang Town, out February 17th via Thirty Tigers; New West Coast tour dates added.

Songwriters have spent centuries putting a face to feelings, ideas, joy, and heartbreak. That’s really the gist of the craft, in general, but as of late, few instances have painted such a stark picture as Jaimee Harris’s personification of addiction in her new single, “The Fair and Dark Haired Lad.” Co-written with Dirk Powell (Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens) and Katrine Noel (Les Hay Babies), the song began as a discussion about vices at a songwriting workshop in Lafayette, Louisiana. “Dirk brought in the idea of using the character ‘The Fair and Dark Haired Lad’ to represent the alluring, insidious nature of alcoholism,” remembers Harris.

The finished tune found its way onto Harris’s upcoming album Boomerang Town in the form of a dark and groovy arrangement with melodies and lyrics falling somewhere between a minor-key Irish shanty and an Appalachian murder ballad. With co-writer Powell joining in on accordion, Michele Gazich carrying the in-betweens on fiddle, and stabs of Mark Hallman’s electric guitar, “The Fair and Dark Haired Lad” gives a vivid face to that all-too-familiar situation; enticement, debilitation, and all. 

The song’s accompanying video, which premiered on Monday via Holler., is part of a series of music videos for the entire Boomerang Town album—all made by fellow musicians. For “The Fair and Dark Haired Lad,” Harris entrusted the storytelling to directors Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel. “When an artist whom you deeply respect and admire asks you to create a visual accompaniment to their song, it’s both inspiring and a little intimidating,” says Gabriel. “The idea is to create a little work of visual art that stands on its own two feet and yet is seamlessly interwoven with the music and lyrics, allowing them to shine while hopefully adding an extra element of the unexpected for the viewer and listener.”

“’The Fair and Dark Haired Lad’ was a standout to us right away,” Gabriel remembers. “The deep groove goes straight to the gut, the screaming guitar pierces the air and punches you in all the right places and the gorgeously weeping violin provides a dash of comfort. Jaimee delivers the lyrics with a chilling directness that reveals the mystery behind them just enough, while allowing the imagination to do the rest.”

Watch Kaye and Gabriel’s interpretation of “The Fair and Dark Haired Lad” today at this link

“The Fair and Dark Haired Lad” is the third single from Harris’s upcoming sophomore effort, Boomerang Townout February 17th via Thirty TigersBoomerang Town marks a bold step forward for this country-folk-leaning singer-songwriter. It is an arresting, ambitious song-cycle that explores the generational arc of family, the stranglehold of addiction, and the fragile ties that bind us together as Americans.

Fans can check out Harris’s previously released singles, “Missing Someone” and “Love Is Gonna Come Again,” at their respective links, and pre-order or pre-save Boomerang Town ahead of its release right here. Additionally, a number of new West Coast tour dates have been added to Harris’s 2023 schedule. Those, along with all previously-announced dates, can be found below or at jaimeeharris.com/tour.

More About Boomerang Town In Harris’s Words: 

“Why was I able to get out of my boomerang town? Why are others stuck there, longing to leave but unable to find their way out? Writing these songs, bringing these narrators to life, brought me closer to the answers. 

Even though I was able to leave, I was not able to escape the generational cycle of addiction and mental illness. I had to deconstruct my Evangelical upbringing, keeping the good things I took from it (the importance of service and loving my neighbor), and rejecting the bigotry and brainwashing – then find faith again, my own way, outside of religion, through recovery, fellowship, and the alchemy of songwriting.

My hometown is no different than the hometown of millions of others. These songs tell the story of what it is like to live in these towns, in these times. This is what it’s like to be a part of the post ”Born to Run” generation. Springsteen’s generation had somewhere to run to. I’m not so sure mine does. 

Whether or not you grew up in a small town or were born and raised in New York City, I bet you can relate to these characters. I bet you know what it feels like to grieve the loss of a loved one or a dream. I bet you’ve experienced how one seemingly small decision can alter the course of your entire life, for better or worse. These characters are a reflection of a people whose resilience, hope, and faith is being tested.”

For all upcoming events and ticket information, please visit jaimeeharris.com/tour.

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