We’ve written about Harper Starling a lot in recent months, including our interview back in September. She is nothing if not a prolific artist, and her new single, ‘Cannot Tell A Lie’ follows hot on the heels of her track, ‘No More What If’.
In the dramatic pre-chorus of ‘Cannot Tell A Lie’, we hear Harper owning up to her participation in a ferociously competitive pick-up scene – “It’s not like I was innocent”. She was playing the angles and calculating the odds, losing lovers to former friends, getting with the wrong person for strategic reasons, drinking deep from the bottomless well of intrigue in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles. Harper makes it clear that she’s not committed to anybody or anything except truthfulness and self-expression. Too bad for the boyfriends in her life, but it’s great news for her ever increasing legion of fans.
Just as on her previous single, ‘No More What If’, Harper Starling matches her forthright storytelling to an irresistible melody and a relentless beat. It’s a mesmerizing, pulse-quickening, spirit-raising anthem sung by a true believer with a burning desire to share her experiences with her listeners – even if the experiences aren’t those she might not want to remember. While ‘No More What If’ told the story of a woman shaking free of small-town Wisconsin to pursue her showbiz dreams in California, ‘Cannot Tell A Lie’ is the story of the interpersonal machinations that she finds once she gets there.
What’s behind Harper’s stratospheric rise? Put simply, talent, hard work, and great material. The music video for ‘Cannot Tell A Lie’ opens on a bleary shot of a bartender threatening to cut her off or toss her out of the club, and it ends with Harper Starling waking up after her bender, in bed, fully clothed and alone, with an expression of mild disbelief about the things that she’s been through. Between both ends are copious liquor shots, outrageous flirtations and unanswered texts, untoward activities in bars, and plenty of phone calls to sympathetic friends. It’s unexpurgated and unashamed, and by now, we know that if it’s Harper Starling’s name on the record, we should never expect anything less.