Cera Debiel

A cheeky, peppy, and accessible pop anthem, that’s deceptively deep, both lyrically, musically, and artistically.

The San Francisco-based Harlow’s Monkeys is led by frontman Tommy P. on guitars and vocals, with Amanda Salguero on bass duty, Lucas Sobiel on drums, and Zeke Ketcham on even more guitar. You Don’t Have To Change is the reaffirming and responsibility-bringing newest single of theirs. Set to release right on New Year’s Day, this tune is about to reaffirm thousands of resolutions, or totally destroy them. Jamming on a solid 2-chord groove throughout the tune, Tommy argues that change is not a must. Through all the devices and contraptions designed to keep us safe and comfortable within our spheres, cutting us off from reality, and reinforcing our modern state of loneliness and depression, a desire to change must come from within, without peer pressure or any external influence, ultimately placing the responsibility within our hands, and totally removing it from any party that we’re used to lay the blame on. 

This is entirely done on a solid jam. A 2-chord composition that feels endlessly sprawling and dynamic, with riffs starting and stopping, rhythm changes, voice ebbing and flowing varying in intensity and intention. The bass plays a vital role in making those 2 chords sound fresh and exciting, playing various inversions in different spots to amplify certain emotions and convey different messages, cautious at times, pining at others, and excited mostly throughout. 

This last Harlow’s Monkeys single is charming and quite unexpectedly deep and smart. Drawing from numerous inspirations, from Wilco to Big Thief, this song ably displays this wide range, with its simplistic composition and intricate arrangement, making it a quirky musical delight, and a lyrical declaration that you have never known you needed.