Premiere: Indie Rock Anxiety in The Harmaleighs’ “Sorry, I’m Busy”

The Harmaleighs by Ruth Chapa
An urgent, raucaus affair, The Harmaleighs’ new single “Sorry, I’m Busy” captures the paralyzing power of social anxiety through intimate lyrics and raw indie rock.
Stream: “Sorry, I’m Busy” – The Harmaleighs

It’s the battle between what you want and what your anxiety wants

Anxiety can be crippling, but because we so often use the word interchangeably with worrying, it can be hard for a healthy mind to comprehend the magnitude of an anxious one. An urgent, raucaus affair, The Harmaleighs’ new single “Sorry, I’m Busy” captures the paralyzing power of social anxiety through intimate lyrics and raw indie rock.

She Won't Make Sense - The Harmaleighs

She Won’t Make Sense – The Harmaleighs

You are on the tip of my tongue
When I think it’s been too long
I’ve got your number memorized
You’re so quick to pick up the phone
And I am so quick to choke
I’m socially paralyzed

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Sorry, I’m Busy,” the lead single off The Harmaleighs’ forthcoming sophomore album She Won’t Make Sense, which will be their first full-length record release since signing to Nettwerk (out later 2019). The duo of Haley Grant [lead vocals, guitar] and Kaylee Jasperson [bass, harmonies], The Harmaleighs introduced themselves as a folk band akin to The Lumineers or The Head and the Heart on 2015’s debut album Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush. Their name highlights Grant and Jasperson’s stunning vocal synchrony, which continues to be a hallmark of The Harmaleighs’ work today.

The Harmaleighs by Ruth Chapa

The Harmaleighs © Ruth Chapa

“Sorry, I’m Busy” is The Harmaleighs’ first original song release since 2017’s Hiraeth EP. Writhing with fuzzy, overdriven guitars and pounding drums, the song heralds a turning point for the Nashville band as they expand from their folk beginnings in to the raucous world of rock.

It may feel like Dylan goes electric for longtime fans of the duo’s sweet, crisply elegant acoustic work, but the air around The Harmaleighs’ new sound is rife with excitement. The band still focus their energies around guitar and vocals; while they may not directly blend their voices as much as they used to, they continue to wield vocal harmony with acute awareness and precision: Jasperson supports Grant’s lead as the pre-chorus explodes into a chorus like an impassioned outburst of unsettled energy.

On the line
Oh what to say?
My mind’s producing
It’s own rain
No need to worry, I’m ok
Ooo, I’m sorry, I am busy
Ooo, I’m sorry, please forgive me
I’m melting to my couch
I’m pulling my hair out
There’s nothing for you to do now
Hey Hey

“You walk into a party that you forced yourself to come to. You know about five people there. Your eyes scan the room for some comfort of familiarity, but everyone you know is preoccupied in a conversation,” Haley Grant says of The Harmaleighs’ new song. “No one notices you as you start to breathe heavy, your chest tightening, you lose control and scream while no one pays any attention to your presence. This is the feeling we wanted to convey with our first single, ‘Sorry, I’m Busy.’ It’s about crippling social anxiety. It’s the battle between what you want and what your anxiety wants. When your friends ask, ‘Hey you want to go out tonight?’ You want to say, ‘No, I can’t. I’m slowly sinking into my couch, unable to move, while thinking about something I said to someone seven years ago and slowly pulling out my hair.’ But instead you respond with a white lie, ‘Sorry, I’m busy.’”

No one notices you as you start to breathe heavy, your chest tightening, you lose control and scream while no one pays any attention to your presence.

Produced by Dan Molad of Lucius, The Harmaleighs’ sophomore record She Won’t Make Sense was conceived as a concept album about mental illness. Haley Grant shares her own story of navigating mental illness, opening up about mania, depression, anxiety, and more as The Harmaleighs refine and redefine their artistry in real-time.

A song like “Sorry, I’m Busy” just wouldn’t evoke the same devastation with sweetly melodic acoustic guitars.

Here we go,
You’re holding my breath
Making me red
I wanna go to bed is it night yet?
Cancel the plans
They’ll understand
Until they don’t understand
Ooo, I’m sorry, I am busy
Ooo, I’m sorry, please forgive me
I’m melting to my couch
I’m pulling my hair out
You won’t see me crying
I think that I’m dying
Im biting my nails
I am in my own jail and
The windows are fogging
I might be sobbing
I’m sorry, I’m busy

The journey to She Won’t Make Sense begins today with “Sorry, I’m Busy,” out everywhere Friday, March 8, 2019. A pivotal transformation and utter outpouring of anxiety and instability, “Sorry, I’m Busy” marks a stunning return for The Harmaleighs and as they begin a new chapter in their career.

Stream “Sorry, I’m Busy” exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

Stream: “Sorry, I’m Busy” – The Harmaleighs

— — — —

She Won't Make Sense - The Harmaleighs

Connect to The Harmaleighs on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Ruth Chapa

:: Stream The Harmaleighs ::


:: The Harmaleighs Tour Dates ::

* w/ Jared & the Mill || ^ w/ Ages and Ages
3/27 – Boston, MA – Great Scott*
3/28 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough trade*
3/29 – Philly, PA – Boot & Saddle*
3/30 – Washington, DC – Union Stage*
3/31 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe*
4/3 – Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe*
4/4 – Covington, KY – Madison Theater*
4/5 – Knoxville, TN – Barleys Taproom*
4/6 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East*
4/9 – Oklahoma City, OK – VZD’s
4/12 – Redding, CA – The Dip^
4/13 – San Francisco, CA – Hotel Utah^
4/16 – Los Angeles, CA – Moroccan Lounge^
4/17 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar^
4/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge^
4/20 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge^
4/23 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court^
4/24 – Boise, ID – The Olympic^
4/25 – Walla Walla, WA – Billsville West^
4/26 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge^
4/27 – Seattle, WA – Barboza^
5/2 – Minneapolis, MN – Aster Cafe •
tix & more info @ theharmaleighs.com

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com