Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Endless Prowl
At the end of July, underground hip-up and electronica artist Neil O’Hardty (formerly known as Blackheart) will drop a new album. Before it hits, we’re premiering the visuals for fresh track ‘Miss Your Moment’ – a measured number that blends a loose mix of complementary genres together with grown-up sentiments about seizing opportunities when they arise.
Neil O’Hardty (real name Curtis Fearon) has been putting in some serious work lately. Since starting their career as Blackheart at the age of 15, the USA-born and formerly Melbourne/Naarm-based artist (Neil now resides in New York) has carved a niche for himself in the underground hip-hop landscape, but 2020 has seen Neil (now 21) shift gears – adopting this current moniker and, perhaps, a new ethos to go with it. After dropping five albums as Blackheart, this year Neil dropped a self-titled EP boasting four tracks of atmospheric emo-tinged trap, and on July 31 the artist will follow up the effort with long-awaited album Angels Are Apparent (out via Tenth Court). Kicking the promotion machine into high gear, Neil is releasing the sound and visuals for new single ‘Miss Your Moment’ – a concise but considered track that showcases Neil’s knack filling up headspace with mellow soundscapes.
‘Miss Your Moment’ shows that Neil has cultivated a healthy mental rolodex of sounds that gel and flow – from a production standpoint, the song manages to weave these connective threads into a cohesive and listenable whole. There’s a discernible spaced-out and heavy-lidded mood saturating the track, with elements of PC music, synthwave and ambient sound cushioning the beat snap. Computerised bleeps flitter above modulated bass resonance, all the while Neil sombrely laments “going through the motions” while reaffirming his desire to take the gold medal (or crown, whatever comes first) for himself. It’s a mature sentiment, one that see’s Neil backing himself and aligning his sights on tangible success. The accompanying visuals put Neil in front of a collection of green screen visuals – the sky, nighttime traffic and footage of Shibuya Crossing. The eclectic mix of media helps to encapsulate Neil as an artist – unpredictable, but undeniably engaging. Watch here:
Angels Are Apparent will be dropping on July 31 through Tenth Court. You can pre-order a digital or limited-edition cassette copy via Neil’s Bandcamp.