If you were still waiting for another reason to embrace the comeback of the bright synths and euphoric riffs of the '80s, let Kiwi rising star Harper Finn's latest single Dance Away These Days be that reason. If you loved Blinding Lights, this'll be your jam.
Coming from an illustrious musical family, the young singer/songwriter often draws from decades past in his music, but Dance Away These Days is the one of those songs that makes you want to forget your woes and live in the moment - as fate would have it, it's sort of what the song's about.
"A quote that always inspired me and this song was one by Samuel Beckett; “Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order,” explains Harper.
It starts slow but by a minute in, you'll feel your shoulders and neck moving of its own accord and my god, don't you dare stop them. It's a tonic to what has been a challenging year for the globe and we're happy to just give in for three-and-a-half minutes.
We had a quick chat to Harper about filming the song's euphoric dance video, The Weeknd meets The 1975 influence and three of his best dance tips.
Your writing is going from strength to strength and Dance Away These Days is another introspective song with a strong ‘80s influence. What led you to write this song and were you influenced by anyone in particular?
I wrote this song at the start of the year in Berlin. I think being so far away from New Zealand definitely made me feel a certain type of vulnerability that made its way into the lyrics. The '80s influence was brought on by walking past the Berlin Wall every morning. It was the middle of winter there, so most of the days were very grey and rainy… it felt like I’d be transported back to Germany in the '80s. I’d also been watching this German TV show Dark which is set during that period (highly recommend watching!).
The rise of ‘80s inspirations in pop music has proliferated recently, do you think it’s here to stay?
I definitely think it's having another moment - to me the '80s will always come back because it has that ‘retro future’ sound that is timeless.
There’s also a strong The 1975 feel to the song and video – are you a fan of Matty Healy and the band?
I haven’t really listened to much of The 1975 in the past, however I really liked their new album and the videos they did!
The music video is euphoric and dancing that way looks quite cathartic! What can you tell us about filming this one – was it filmed during COVID restrictions?
It was filmed during the few months NZ was out of lockdown which was super lucky because we’re back into a form of lockdown now. It was a tiring shoot for sure (spent the next two days with the sorest legs haha) but the infectious energy the dancers brought onto set made it really really fun. It was a surreal feeling when we were doing those last group dance shots with all the lights and cameras going. It created a bond between all of us that I’m sure we won’t forget.
What are your top three dancing tips?
• Listen to what the drums are doing and try to lock in with that.
• When in doubt, clap your hands or snap your fingers to the beat ??
• At the end of the day just dance to your favourite songs (it’s simple, but if you truly love the song, your body will follow)
Have you found writing and being creative during this year’s confusing ups and downs has been a challenge or have you liked the slower pace?
I’ve found it difficult to draw from the same things that I’m usually inspired by like meeting up with friends, going to parties… even just going out to get something from a store has an effect on you creatively. The way in which I’m looking for inspiration has changed because life itself has changed, but as we settle into this new COVID/post COVID world, art and music will still be as important as ever and I’m looking forward to hearing what other musicians and artists have thought of the past 12 months.