Harry the Nightgown

Harry the Nightgown  
p: Courtney Melahn


At the age of five, Sami Perez was lonely enough to befriend a tree that sat kidi-corner to San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park and directly below her bedroom window. Due to its ever growing ivy, she named the tree “Harry the Nightgown”. Six years later, Perez began playing shows in San Francisco with her band, The She’s. The quartet formed in middle school with hopes of becoming the next ‘Donnas’. The She’s recorded their debut LP at Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), an SF based non-profit that employs and teaches trans women/gender non-conforming (GNC) audio engineers. From there, Perez continued to hone her engineering skills at WAM, which eventually landed her a job at Tiny Telephone Studios, where she delved deep into abstract styles of music production in Tiny Telephone’s exclusively analog environment.

In 2014, Perez met Spencer Hartling at a dive bar in Ventura when their respective bands played to a small audience of balding drunks. Impressed with each others’ performances, they forged a long distance friendship and began to collaborate on their music. In 2017, Hartling moved from Los Angeles to a farm on an off-grid plot of land in the mountains of Guerneville. Hartling set up a minimal recording space in a shipping container, and it was there, against the farm’s backdrop of manzanita trees and natural springs that Perez and Hartling began writing and demoing what would eventually become Harry the Nightgown.

In late 2018, Hartling and Perez began to record their debut self-titled album, Harry the Nightgown at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. The album is a showcase of their experimental engineering and production styles, as well as their shared love of playful sonic deconstruction. The songs are a meditation on the struggle of continuing a creative collaboration with an ex-partner.

Harry the Nightgown’s influences range from The Raincoats and XTC to Rosalía and Kate Bush. Their sound has been compared to bands such as Dirty Projectors and Deerhoof. The product is defined by improv “Toast and Punch” recording techniques.

Harry the Nightgown is the pursuit of Hartling and Perez’s artistic partnership as they begin a new chapter in Los Angeles, where they have established their new recording studio, Grandma’s Couch.

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  • Sami Perez
  • Spencer Hartling

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Upholding the experimental, avant rock torch...Harry the Nightgown’s core musical idioms of garage and pop present a melodic version of No Wave for the post-millennial set.
-American Songwriter

...zig-zags across subgenres and moods...
-SF Weekly

The songs that comprise their self-titled debut LP were written while recording, songs shapeshifting and transforming right up until the tape stopped spinning. The end result is an exhilarating journey of pop experiments, at times as wild as Dirty Projectors or Deerhoof.
-Northern Transmission

...alternately cheeky and melancholy... “Ping Pong” — the album’s standout track — is equal parts buoyant, ethereal, and breezy.
-Local News Matters

...boundlessly creative...each mini detour takes on a life of its own, as jagged guitars stumble over stuttering drum beats with Perez’s vocals providing a sweet melodic counterpoint to joyful chaos.
-Post-Trash on "Pill Poppin Therapist"

Coasts somewhere between the sensual and the cosmic.
-Week in Pop

With a knack for deconstruction that extends from their own romance to their sonic aesthetic, Harry the Nightgown may have created the experimental indie equivalent of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours

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