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Standout Track: No. 2, “Slide to Unlock,” a blend of ringing guitar and simple percussion reminiscent of early Sonic Youth, from local indie-rock act Harness Flux’s latest release, Collected Singles (Remastered). John Masters, the solo artist behind Harness Flux, has played around town with bands like the Cheniers and Metropolitan and started performing on his own in 2012. His performance moniker is derived from two different Pavement songs, but it took on further meaning when he considered the transient state of many D.C. bands. “Now that I’m a solo artist, I can harness that flux,” he says. “I never really have to break up.”
Musical Motivation: The song’s name references the lock screen message on an iPhone, an appropriate title, since several pieces of the song were saved on Masters’ electronic devices. Recorded live in Masters’ Shaw home, the song first came to life on his phone, where he regularly types lyrics or records hummed melodies that enter his head. “In a way, it’s like you slide to unlock all those pieces,” he says.
There’s No Need to Shout: Masters points to “Slide to Unlock” as an example of the recording prowess he’s gained since creating music on his own. He gave his guitar an alternate tuning and added more layers; Masters’ earlier songs were more simple, featuring just vocals and guitar, but on Collected Singles (Remastered), live drums give his tracks an organic, warmer sound. “I hope to keep adding more to it,” Masters says, “but I’m not in a rush to put out more stuff.”
Stream “Slide to Unlock” after the jump.