Greater Manchester musician Harriet Dagnall looking forward to release of debut EP Dead Time

The Bolton-born musician who now lives in the Northern Quarter has been part of the city’s music scene for some time and is now releasing her first collection of her dreamy, personal songs.

A Greater Manchester musician who has been making a name for herself on the city’s scene for several years is about to release her debut EP.

Harriet Dagnall, who was born in Bolton but now lives in the Northern Quarter, is preparing to bring out her five-track short album Dead Time.

She has been releasing singles for a couple of years now but the EP marks the next step in getting her dreamy, personal style of songwriting into the record collections of music fans.

Having recently got together a full band line-up, the guitarist and singer is also looking forward to an upcoming appearance at an arts festival in Trafford.

How did Harriet get into music?

Harriet was born into a musical family, with her mum being a jazz singer and her dad a drummer. The two of them now perform together in the rock band The Deccan Traps and her aunties and uncles are also musicians.

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She said: “I didn’t know anything else growing up other than gigging. My dad taught me a few chords on guitar when I was about 14 but I’m a self-taught guitarist.

“I started writing and then got into doing open mics.”

Harriet Dagnall

Harriet then put her music on hold for a few years while she went to university in Oxford where she studied philosophy and theology before deciding she wanted to return to Manchester.

She began gigging and has now been on the scene for around five years, and has begun recording and releasing her self-penned material too.

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What is her debut EP Dead Time and her music like?

Harriet’s debut EP Dead Time has five tracks on it and showcases her somewhat unclassifiable and distinctly personal approach to songwriting and music.

She cites the likes of Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins as influences alongside more current acts such as The Japanese House, Marika Hackman, Yebba and The War on Drugs.

She recently released the title track from it as a single, building on her bringing out the songs Steal You Away in August 2020 and Tied Up in 2021

She said: “I don’t really have a genre, though alt-pop is the cover-all genre for it. My songs just sound like whatever my mind is like at any given point.

“I think my songs are all quite dreamy. I’ve got a tendency towards harmonies and quite wispy vocals.

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“You could maybe call it dream pop but I don’t think that community would necessarily call my music that.”

Harriet Dagnall

Harriet is releasing more tracks from Dead Time over the next few months and then her promotional efforts will culminate with a launch.

She says the album has no particular over-riding concept but brings together four of her own songs with a cover of All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun by Elizabeth Fraser and Jeff Buckley.

She said: “I’m releasing my own version of that because it’s a completely gorgeous song.

“There’s a song which is quite Radiohead, a bit like a loud lullaby, and there’s one called The Ringing Out which is my angry, shouty song about the state of the world.

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“I wrote that in 2016, I think it ws Brexit and Trump, and said everything was going wrong. I didn’t realise it would get so much worse.

“It’s about being a youngish person feeling there’s a lot coming at you all at once and you feel pretty powerless.”

A gig at Refract:22 in Sale

Harriet says she does not have a huge number of gigs booked in for 2022 as she has been concentrating on the launch of her EP.

However, having performed for much of her time on the scene as a solo act she has now got a full band together and is enjoying the louder and more complete sound of the group.

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She is performing at the Refract:22 festival at the Waterside arts venue in Sale on Saturday 23 July at 8pm on a bill with Manchester indie-alternative act Foxglove.

She said: “It’s going to be me and three of my band members doing a 45-minute set. It will be nice. We’re playing in the cabaret club and it will be nice to play somewhere different.”