Harlowe is the moniker for the songs, compositions, and experiments of Mark Robertson — often working closely with a group of fellow musicians hovering around a recording studio by the name of Sleepy Volcano in Portland, Oregon. The debut recording, “The Swell,” was produced by Matthew Morgan at Jackpot! and Sleepy Volcano. In 2013 it made it’s quiet debut on a small run of cassette tapes that were distributed by hand throughout the Pacific Northwest, Europe, and Iceland. Robertson is currently working on a new full length recording of songs, as well as a seperate collection of experimental compositions to be released in 2016.
Exploring themes of death, disillusion and enlightenment, the Green Hills Alone LP is the first full length from Portland songwriter Chris Miller. It features the talents of Mark Robertson, Matthew Morgan and Mike Beaton – members of the creative collective,Sleepy Volcano.
At Sleepy Volcano, there is an interest in the unexpected outcome, where collaboration seeks not to perfect a singular vision, but to discover a collective one. This approach creates a product no single member could develop on their own, expanding the boundaries of both personal and artistic identity.
Sonically, the Green Hills Alone LP was inspired by the late 90s and early 2000s bedroom productions of the Pacific Northwest. Miller and Morgan’s shared love for Jeremy Enigk’s Return of the Frog Queen can be felt, and some have made comparisons to Phil Elvrum’s The Microphones and Mount Eerie projects. There’s a tradition of experimentation and unlikely orchestration that surrounds most Sleepy Volcano releases and the Green Hills Alone LP is no exception. What could have been an album of acoustic singer-songwriter songs quickly transformed into something much more: a testament to the collective approach.
In 2009, Miller experienced the death of his father. In the years that followed, songs were written as a solitary gesture towards grief. Stuck between attachment and inspiration, it wasn’t until a 2013 journey to Iceland with Robertson that Miller felt capable of committing these songs to tape.
Recorded and released in 2014, CDs and records were shared exclusively hand to hand, inspired by memories of a pre-Internet age. As of July 2015, the album is available for streaming on this website only.
Nolan Ford is a songwriter, musician, and producer based out of Chico, California. His musical journey began in 2006 as lead guitarist of the punk/alternative rock act The Secret Stolen (Unfun Records). Other notable acts that Ford has collaborated and toured with since then include Perpetual Drifters, Pat Hull, and The Rugs. Ford released his debut EPWaiting and Wondering in 2015 and is currently touring in support of the follow-up LP, Evergreen. The new album showcases Ford's interest in traditional folk songwriting and indie rock, exploring themes of love and longing through an often-somber, but occasionally humorous lens.