Independent Artist of the Week: Aloe Vera
March 23rd 2021
Soulfully and solely written in lockdown, Aloe Vera (aka Harry Barwell) paints an introspective picture of 2020.
Dripping in bedroom indie-pop hazy lethargy, Aloe Vera’s new EP is all of us. The five tracks of ‘Escapism’ were written and recorded at the top end of Sydney’s 2020 lockdown. The project of multi-instrumentalist Harry Barwell is universal in its themes of reminiscence and relationships, and yet it strikes a very personal cord with its nostalgic tones.
A little dash of teenage angst with a whole heap of twangy guitars comprise the lockdown-lamenting EP. With the playful chime of the simple tambourine, ‘On My Own’ was the first track written for Aloe Vera. It nestles perfectly into this story line: “I just wanna go anywhere but home, I just wanna know if I can be on my own.”
The hero of ‘Escapism’ however, is ‘Get with the Times’, an open letter to a potential lover which really showcases Barwell’s slinky guitar work. Buzzy synths and a surfy riff are the initial foundations for an eventual explosion of sound. Of this euphoria Barwell explains:
“Get with the Times” is one of my favourite songs off the EP, it starts out slow and is pretty chill, it’s about having that uncertain feeling of does this girl like me or not anymore? The song really grows and builds up to this big release, I think having that ending was the perfect way to finish the EP, and it probably reflects my mood after being locked in my room for 2 weeks, you can definitely hear the frustration coming out.”
Escapism was independently produced to include all the dreamy wakefulness of indie-pop persuasion. Aloe Vera is aptly described in his poetic bio below:
try it in the car,
at the beach,
try it in the sunlight,
with eyes open,
or eyes closed.’
‘Get with the Times’ with Aloe Vera below.