Harkin shares new holiday single "White Mist Christmas" out today via Hand Mirror Records.
UK multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Harkin has announced a digital release for her charity fundraising holiday single "White Mist Christmas". The single is available digitally via Bandcamp with all proceeds from the digital sales going to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt.
"White Mist Christmas" is Harkin’s first single since the release of her second solo album ‘Honeymoon Suite’, which came out in June 2022 on Hand Mirror, the label Harkin founded in 2019 with her wife, the poet Kate Leah Hewett.
Like ‘Honeymoon Suite’, Harkin wrote and recorded "White Mist Christmas" at home. The single was mixed and mastered by Jeff T Smith in Leeds.
In addition to her own bands, Harkin has been a touring member of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett’s Sea Lice. She performed backing vocals for Dua Lipa on Saturday Night Live. She dueted with comedian Sarah Silverman on 'Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit's The Midnight Organ Fight'. Her studio work includes contributions to Waxahatchee’s 'Out In The Storm'. Outside of the music world, Harkin has composed for Turner Prize-winning artist Helen Marten and British comedian Josie Long. She even has a Saturday Night Live sketch named after her (Fred Armisen’s 2016 ‘Harkin Brothers Band’).
Describing the inspiration behind the single, Harkin says:
“Last year was our first Christmas in our new home, high up in the moors of the North. Some days we can see distant counties. Other days the thick white mist descends unannounced and we can barely see the end of the garden. To me there’s a romance in the eeriness. It makes me feel wrapped up like a Christmas pressie.”
24% of homeless young people identify as LGBTQ+. Founded in 1989, akt’s lifesaving work supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16 - 25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. The charity supports young people into safe homes and employment, education or training, in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.
On her decision to raise funds for akt through the single, Harkin says:
“I wrote this song very quickly last year as a Christmas Eve gift to our Patreons and I liked it so much I thought it deserved a wider release. I hope it can in some small way help akt continue their essential work helping those who are most vulnerable to the winter weather.”