Harrison Lipton is a Brooklyn singer and producer with a limited digital paper trail. There was the 2014 collaborative Bandcamp loosie with Dayspired that ambled through the mood music Rhye once perfected on Woman. Then there was Lipton's appearance on songs from electronic music producers Mister Lies and Giraffage. But "Pool," the first single off his upcoming debut project, Loveliness, feels like a rarity, transposing of-the-moment sounds into a dusted-off paean to a romance lost in memory and feeling.
Part Quiet Storm revivalism, part bedroom-pop prowess, "Pool" is restrained and swooning, with thrums of electric guitar and MIDI synths layered atop a wash of white noise.
"Hold on tight so when you go away, I'll keep haunting you," Lipton sings in his gorgeous tenor, his voice meandering through the proceedings as if a shadow of his past passion.
The influences of "Pool" float to the surface. Sam Ray's reverb-laden dronescapes on his Ricky Eat Acid project and Moses Sumney's aromantic balladry both come to mind as sources of inspiration. But the dulled-out longing inspired by a languid summer rendezvous in this song is all Lipton's.
"Two of my closest friends were trapped in Connecticut with me that summer, and by August our friendships had become a love triangle," Lipton tells NPR, recounting a one-night affair he had with one of the friends in question. "I wrote this song as I watched my friendship with both of them crumble. ... 'Pool' attempts to capture the love I had for [both friends] — different types of love, but love nevertheless."
"Pool" is a stellar introduction (or re-introduction) to Harrison Lipton.
Loveliness is due out May 18 via Yellow K Records.