Stream: Harriet, ‘I’m Trying’


In the big picture, it’s praiseworthy that any band these days aspires to make an album that tackles “the American condition, and the power and greed that ensues” — the mission statement laid out by L.A. quartet Harriet for its “American Appetite” (due in January via Harvest Records). Songwriter Alex Casnoff addresses that theme explicitly in the title track, inspired by the moral turpitude of the principals in the Enron scandal. But much of “American Appetite” wallows in the despair the current state of affairs breeds: twentysomethings living with their parents, the overall lack of a sense of purpose and the lure of depravity as a distraction from reality. In the almost year-long rollout toward “American Appetite’s” release, we’ve heard half of the album, with its eclectic instrumentation and Casnoff’s wounded voice and lyrical heft. The latest tune includes an interesting gun metaphor: “I’m caught in between / the barrel and the magazine,” he sings in “I’m Trying,” which, he told Death and Taxes Magazine (where the song premiered) is about “the anxiety of being lost.” He explains: “Art isn’t a club that gives you a purpose. Making art is about searching for meaning, and most of the time for me there’s not much to be found. Maybe because me and my friends aren’t religious, or are interested in lying to ourselves to make things easier, we feel especially lost.”

||| Stream: “I’m Trying” and “Bent”

||| Also: Watch a video for “Up Against It”

||| Live: Harriet opens for Zella Day tonight at the Fonda Theatre

||| Previously: “American Appetite,” “Irish Margaritas,” “Ten Steps,” “Burbank”