“I’ve never made music that sounds this much like ‘me’ before.”
Dig the Motion is Harrison’s fourth studio album, but the first that’s almost exclusively acoustic. The hybrid album delivers four studio cuts, capped off with three live performances.
The central theme throughout the record can be interpreted as “just keep going,” despite things being particularly challenging and uncertain these days. While this collection of songs acknowledges the pressures of being young in an increasingly polarized world, they are also bound by a silver thread of optimism that is a signature of Harrison’s vision and message.
The 7-track album is the second EP release from Harrison in the last two years, following his acclaimed 2021 record, Lyin Cheatin Gettin By. Both were produced at Welcome To 1979 recording studio in Nashville.
“Every time you go into the studio you grow and learn. You try things, you experiment, and you learn what processes do and don’t work for you personally,” Harrison told us last month. “Dig the Motion is my second album recorded at Welcome to 1979 studio, and at this point I’ve been able to refine and streamline my process by taking into account all the mistakes (and happy accidents) that were part of my previous records.”
The Georgia native has a knack for crafting his songs in such a way that defies traditional genre. His fusion of Americana, roots rock, folk, and even pop is impressive, as all of this together makes a sound all his own. And frankly, I hear a lot of Tyler Childers when listening.
The album kicks off with his infinitely catchy lead single, “Sleeping in Kathmandu.” This lyrically driven song full of dance-worthy hooks is Harrison’s message to the masses that “something just doesn’t feel quite right anymore…” perhaps because too many folks are talking, and too few are listening.
The track is both poignant and hopeful, setting the theme for the album, and has a stellar acoustic pop-rock groove to it that’s easy on the ears, with Harrison’s vocals captivating throughout. It’s a breezy summer-feeling tune, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t have the recurring “woah-oh-ohs” stuck in my head.
“Cause there’s just too many people inside this room / Floors so weak I might fall right through / Wind up sleeping in Kathmandu / Would you remember me if I do,” Harrison sings. The combination of genuine soul, strong vocals, melodic instrumentation, and an overall sonic magnetism make for a song that can be enjoyed by a wide audience.
The feel-good song of the record, “Sunbeam,” is an uplifting Americana bop that challenges listeners to take measure of the simple treasures in their life. The rolling cadence, bouncy guitar melody, and tasteful mandolin licks invoke a sense of nostalgia that guides you through a story of home, beginnings, and excitement for what’s yet to come. It’s best summed up by the last two lines of the chorus: “Like a sunbeam shining through the dirty glass of the window in the hall / Or my favorite line from an Allman Brothers song.”
“Me Myself and I” follows, and is the signature ballad on Harrison’s album. It’s a heartbreaking melody, and the reflective lyrics capture the polar states of frustration and gratefulness that have entangled so many during the past few years. This lyrically-driven gem, with its lilting waltz and nuanced vocals, is one that’s easy to put on repeat. This one in particular gives me Childers vibes, primarily during the impactful and heartfelt chorus.
The title track of the album, “Dig The Motion,” is another catchy and thoughtful tune highlighting the resilience of the human spirit in the face of change, loss, and adversity. The song features a bright and melodic rhythm paired with a folksy and subtle bluegrass shuffle that gives the song a comfortable, yet melancholy feel.
The overdubs and harmonies in the chorus particularly stand out. The song offers some definite vintage 70s Americana acoustic-rock type vibes, again especially within the chorus. Harrison has a very natural and organic flow to his sound, and by the fourth song, you feel like you know the guy. The Jerry Garcia-esque Wah guitar effect is also a highlight in this track.
“Whiskey Love” starts off the live tracks on the album, and tells a soulful story about loneliness and the need for companionship, even if it’s sometimes fleeting or personally destructive.
Harrison utilizes a rolling picking style and subtle dynamic shifts to build and release tension throughout this live acoustic yarn. In doing so, he calls forth a sense of lonesome yearning that leads to a compelling epiphany by the song’s end. Recorded in Harrison’s home town for a live streaming concert in late 2020, “Whiskey Love” is set to be the second single from the album.
“One” is a simpler folk tune, starting with a wistful melody and cascades into a rolling anthem. It showcases Harrison’s musical dexterity and unique guitar stylings. There’s a raw feel about this track that strikes a chord.
“Problems of Yesterday” is a more off-kilter, bluegrass-styled jig that pokes fun at our perceived daily struggles. Levity is often the perfect lens to put things into perspective when things get too serious, and this track is a good microscope. This track provides a refreshing bookend to the album and its oft-deep introspection.
With his sharp and introspective lyrics, beaming vocal delivery, and sparkling acoustic instrumentation, Harrison hits a home run with Dig The Motion. It’s a triumphant and resounding record, and if authentic songwriting truly reigned supreme as it should, this Nashville songsmith would be right up there with some of the heavyweights.