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Mall of Fortune

by Harriet Brown

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about

Sultry r&b solo artist Harriet Brown is back with a new batch of fully-realized future funk, a slow-burning dispatch from a dayglo dance floor.

The Los Angeles by-way-of-the Bay artist honed his musical chops in church, the birthplace of so many soulful sirens. His first project, New Era EP came out in 2014, setting off a firestorm of critical and fan adulation. Who was this bowl cut rocking, falsetto dropping, shiny suit man?

He followed up with a bombastic debut album, Contact, an expertly crafted, extraterrestrial soul rumination on the ways we fail to connect, restart, and try again. It was also a transitional album. Made between the Bay and LA, it’s about the electricity of new connections, the distance of old friends.

Mall of Fortune is his second full-length album, an airtight meditation on anxiety, paranoia and indecisiveness – decision paralysis and the free-flowing guilt that follows. The bowl cut is gone, but the shine is intact.

It was written and recorded entirely at his home in Los Angeles, and in many ways is about Los Angeles - the instagram sinkhole of jealousy, the warm but filthy air, the constant waiting, waiting waiting. Your thoughts and your ride stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The album was produced, arranged, composed and performed by Harriet
Brown. He plays every note of every instrument, sings every come-hither
falsetto flight - save for two felicitous features from singers Ana Roxanne and Felicia Douglass. Pressing play is stepping into a damn-near singular vision, a world apart.

And what a world it is. This album is 14 songs of meticulous and introspective soul from LA’s foremost funk documentarian. Where his debut album was more cosmic, more spiritual, this follow-up is grounded and personal, driven by day-to-day experiences and self-imposed solitude. The best albums sound like emotions registered in real time, then rendered for maximum impact.

Album opener ‘Window Shopping’ lays it out clear – ‘Baby what you want,
what you spend your life on / when it’s time oh what kind of fortune are you bringing back home?’ The weight of each decision can cause conniptions, but choosing nothing is no choice at all.

‘Shower Up, Saddle Up’ is a bucket of water in the face, the moment you shake it off and find peace with your dime piece, new cologne and a time piece – you stop worrying what people think and hit the town for some me time.

As personal as the album is, its also a rumination on the deep murky macro mess we’re all in. ‘Cinnamon Sky’ wonders how LA can be this beautiful and this polluted, a sun-soaked biohazard.

‘Hardwalkin’ takes on our growing police state, surveillance and the fear we feel around people who are supposed to protect and serve.

This is a sonically and emotionally eclectic album, a ‘Sign O’ The Times’ for our times. It’s a stew of r&b, soul, funk, and free experimentation, both dense and expansive. Repeated listenings rewarded.

Harriet Brown’s live show mirrors the themes of each of his releases. At first he was a one-man orchestra, self-contained fury - a solo artist playing
multiple instruments, cueing machinery and selling it with sweat and aplomb. He was a man apart, making contact through song, behind emotional plexiglass.

With the release of Mall, his live performances feature a rotating cast of dynamic singers, rhythm players and melodic instruments. The songs breathe and wind, tumbling forward with Harriet at the helm, the mid 90s Bulls with Jordan on the boards. He’s reached out to the world and found himself closer to others, closer to the muse, closer to that 6th ring.

You’ll walk away from Mall of Fortune craving the smell of the food court, the stickiness of the arcade. But no matter what you’re in the mall for, pull your check out, hit the checkout, we close in five minutes.

credits

released February 1, 2019

All Words and Music Written, Arranged, Performed* and Produced by Harriet Brown

*except: vocals on "Outerworld" performed by Felicia Douglass and Harriet Brown • vocals on "When You Call My Name" performed by Ana Roxanne and Harriet Brown • additional organ tickling on "Take Your Time With Me" by M.F. Wiey

Mixed by Harriet Brown, Tammy Nguyen and Alex Talan
Mastered by Mike Bozzi
Artwork & Design by Tammy Nguyen

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Track Name: Window Shopping
baby what you want? what you spend your life on?
when it’s time oh what kinda fortune are you bringing back home?
window shopping give you nothin’ if nothin’ is what you want
you gonna have to sign for something if you wanna take it home
tell me baby what’s your style? what’s gon’ make you feel worthwhile? are you into specifics with it or want more versatile?
better get before it’s gone, wanna cop them bomb jawns, don’t spend all your time thinkin’ bout how you don’t know what you want

show me baby, what’s the score? what you tradin’ your life for? are you gettin’ what you can or you think you can get some more?
baby put your money down, what good’s having it around? if it rots inside your pocket you’ve lost it then anyhow
you know baby either way, that we all gon’ have to pay, time is money won’t you honey rather spend it on something?
so baby tell me what you want, what you really want want, when it’s time oh
what kinda fortune you gettin’ at the mall?
you got to get up, get out, go find out what’s good for you, what she got in store

you got to keep on movin’, let me know to what you’re groovin’, what you tradin’ your life for? before you know it, she closin’, askin’ “where did you go?” and you won’t know what to say
so go and spend some time feelin’ out what your favorite deal is – one way or another we all gonna pay
Track Name: Retail Therapy
tell me what i want
i don’t know what i want
i been circlin’ around for hours
and i’ve got room in my bag, room in my hands, in my head, in my soul, don’t you know
stare at this display
snap my eyes out that glaze
there ain’t no way i’m gon’ give up this now
cuz i’m just one choice away
from purchasing away this pain
starchy jeans, steel toes with the sheen
can’t quite afford all this cream
but my chip in that machine never know

that one, or maybe that one?
do you see what i want? or on to the next one?
this one? please tell me which one, i don’t know what i want, oh baby can you pick one?
need some, ain’t we havin’ fun?
just tell me which one i need to have no problem
this one or maybe that one?
i don’t know what i want but i need you to make my decision

lady it’s gettin’ cold
maybe i should buy a coat
or a carved jaded monkey, new colored lights thinkin’ if i get the ambience right, then i might be able to sleep at night, wake up on time
i know you know that feng shui
and i’m feelin’ kinda weak
perhaps i need to eat
but i can’t hit the food court til after one last sweep
until i know i’ve gotten everything that might help me retain the delight that surfaces most
when i make the trade, and now it’s mine
but that feeling is shorter every time
can’t you help me decide?
cuz i been circlin’ around for hours

if only you could tell me which way i should go cuz i don’t know what i want
my stomach’s empty, pretty lady can you fill me? or tell me what can?

bass

soft linens, creamy silks
whatever helps me stay afloat
can i walk on clouds with these new soles? will i find life in this new suit?
Track Name: Shower Up, Saddle Up
shower up, saddle up
gettin out of the house
grab the colors you want
paint it all over town
put it all behind me
know where you can find me
we’re doin what we want tonight
do they ever mind me?
it’s time that i stop trying to know

shower up, saddle up

shower up, saddle up
girl, we goin' downtown
power up, paddle up
gonna keep gaining ground
lady you remind me
all da other times we spent hidin’ out from everyone
do they ever mind me?
i don’t think that i have to know

shower up, saddle up

saddle up, get your boots on
time to ride into town
fill your cup, get ya groove on
ain’t no care who’s around
tell me that I’m crazy
spent too many days in front of the mirror wonderin’
take me to the party
done talkin’; I am ready to dance
Track Name: Outerworld (feat. Felicia Douglass)
baby can you hold me close
listen to me breathing, feel my heartbeat make sure that i ain’t a ghost
cuz i’m on another plane when you’re with me

baby the outerworld is callin’ our names oh we can leave this dimension
we gon’ make our escape
and there’ll be no one to tell us
what we can or can’t do the only thing on my mind i wanna go there with you

oh won’t you come (come, come lady)
come with me

savor when you hold me close
analyze my texture baby
even if i were a ghost
i know your love’s the one that saves me

baby the outerworld feels lovely today
hard to believe it’s so simple to venture this way cuz now i’m feelin’ a rapture that i’ve never before
we’ll have to be back again, sweet lady, when you want more

i hope you come (come, come lady)
come with me

wish we could stay forever, baby here on a cloud, reclined
leave me lost in the ether, baby long as i’m here with you
feel so good but too much, baby
might make me lose my mind
well i don’t know what they call goin’ crazy i feel sane when i’m with you

come
Track Name: Method
feelin’ kinda tight in my veins
my blood feelin’ especially hot
feelin’ very tired but restless
i’m runnin’ while i’m lyin’ down
5:45 in the afternoon
my lungs tied up in the air
but baby when you come knockin’ on my door...

i can feel it untighten
loosen the knot, loosen the top
i wanna let it out
you know how to do it right, you gon’ let me know
a peace far past my understanding

baby go’n and push your method on me
show me how you go to ease the fire
pressure deep, relax or death upon me
you can let me out, you take me higher
you take me

still i know it’s gonna take some time i’m scared i’m gettin’ close to the edge but baby when you lay your hands on me
i can feel my weight lighten, loosen my feet im fallin’ and free, feel it comin’ out

you can do it right, the way that you feel lead me to the promised land

you givin’ me good love
Track Name: Cinnamon Sky
pullin’ up under that cinnamon sky
paintin’ with the wind again
sprinklin’ me with sugar and spice
sepia rainbow
pullin’ up under that cinnamon sky
colorin’ the air again
showerin’ me with sugar and spice
see the pink sun glow

wake up every morning wonderin’
“is it gettin’ harder to breathe?”
but when i walk outside
i feel i’m in the most cinematic scene could this be so dire?
if everything looks beautiful must we still worry? think i’ll take a ride; colors of the wind
i’m cruisin’, swear we in a movie
(got my glasses on)

lay down every evening wonderin’
“how many more nights can we sleep?”
but what’s there to lose sleep bout when both day and night we’re livin’ in our dreams?
can it go so far? surely we cannot have made much of a difference
baby start your car; winter nights have never felt so warm – we’ll cruise til’ morning
(all the windows down)
see the pink sun glowin’ up

if the sky melt down i’d just keep driving
so turn the music up
little sweet and spicy don’t hurt nothin’
so keep on lovin’
it’s you and me, oh baby
we’ll be ridin’ through the end until the stars are all we see
and when the sun comes up again we’ll find the colors of our dreams so beautiful

oh baby close your eyes and enjoy the ride
don’t you know that our life is beautiful
add a little sweet and spice
colorin’ the open sky
oh baby open wide
we gon’ get real high
can’t you see that our world is wonderful
a little cinnamon looks nice
it be rainin’ sugar and spice
Track Name: Holy Place (Shinin')
i can see your lips movin’, but i can’t hear you
can’t you see that i’m groovin’?
the beat is feelin’ good
won’t you save your voice, partner?
i know you talkin’ loud
cuz i got a choice, partner
it ain’t to listen to you now
don’t you hear that good music fillin’ up the room?
got the rhythm i can’t lose it
it’s what i came to do
ain’t tryna hear your story
hamperin’ my trance
if you see me on the dance floor
you know what i’m here for

if you see me on the dance floor
i ain’t tryin’ to talk
i found a dime in my pocket sayin’ i gotta rock
the only person that i listen to when i’m on the floor
is the holy angel of the groove
she tellin’ me i need more
(gotta go if you ain’t gonna dance with me)

shhhhh, homie don’t you know
that i gotta need to fill and you up in my zone act like we all of one mind
but you keep your ears closed
while your mouth it stay wide open
and your feet they turn to stone
how your body get so froze?
it ain’t cold, feel the heat
when i’m on the dance floor
its just the angel and me
let the spirit take over, stop tryin’ to control her stop tryin’ to patrol with your mouth wide open so if you ain’t feelin’ it, you best get on now
no need to fill up the air with your babble
cuz if you wanna stay, gotta respect the holy place
if it ain’t your thing then that’s okay
just get your mouth outta my face now
and out the function, unless you got the gumption to open yourself up
give no fucks, let her come in
like the holy spirit givin’ mary the babe
the freaks come to worship in the holy place

ain’t no use in shoutin’, partner i’m in another place
movin’ with the cloud and fire breathin’ in her grace
tonight i’m gonna let her take me anywhere she wants
gonna have to cut the conversation cuz i came here to

•••••

baby, i love the way you look at me
they all be thinkin’ that i’m crazy
when our love is shinin’, they will see
that we knowin’ how to move right together
like moods with the weather
lady imma follow you wherever you go
and i know there gonna be different seasons
but comfort ain’t the reason
groovin’ with you i know we gonna grow
Track Name: When You Call My Name (feat. Ana Roxanne)
baby don’t you go far away
i want your love, i’m thirsting for you now without you there was no night or day
and i know i can’t ensure you’ll stay always but i’ll always answer when you call my name

please forgive the times i’m not open (can you forgive)
to receive the word you have for me (the times that i did not listen)
trying so hard to explain a drought’s reason (trying so hard)
that i miss the water right in front of me (can’t even see the water)

baby please don’t go far away
i need your love, ever thirst for you now before you, infinitely empty space
if i’m even to hope you’ll stay
then always
i’ll answer when you call my name
Track Name: Driver's Seat
mix it up baby
empty it out and we fill it up baby
gon go somewhere new
gonna try doin somethin we ain’t never do now
mix it up baby
build it up break it down then we fix it up baby
ain’t tied to the race
set our own course, steady at our own pace

baby if you wanna ride with me
we can go the way you wanna
if you wanna take the driver’s seat
you can take us where you wanna

love you lady when you in the driver’s seat
gas in the tank, ain’t no time to beat
goin zero to a hundred, baby pick ya speed
we can get there when we get there
if we feelin cool, use the cruise control
take ya foot up off the gas, stretch your legs some more
you can unzip ya pants, just keep your eyes on the road
you can take us anywhere
Track Name: Hardwalkin'
hey mister whatcha doin’ with that big old thing
it help you find some food and bring home some meat
you gon’ protect yourself, can you protect me?
i heard you swore you gonna keep us from calamity
and when you walkin’ down the street nobody mess with you
i know we takin’ in the heat while we talk real cool
but don’t you get it in your head, my man, that we ain’t scared
we only tryin’ to prevent you noticing us there

and when you turn to look at me i cannot help but sweat
body shakin’ hands tremblin’ tryna bring down the temp
unsure if i can stop the nerves from doing me wrong
like a choir audition gotta get thru the song
but for every missed note you decide the hit
be the slipper or the belt or crackin’ out the whip and here i’m prayin’ that i haven’t made too many mistakes
or that today’s a day you feel like practicin’ ya grace

they always talk about the devil but you bring me real fear
i thought we speak the same language but it ain’t quite clear
for every misinterpretation, an extremity chopped you callin’ it a conversation when i can’t even talk the more you don’t know what i say
the more your fire build up
and you declarin’ that you burnin’ in the name of love
you got the power
none can’t stop you from takin’ aim
but if you doin’ what you doin’
at least call it by its name

you call that really love? do you call that love?
is that what you call love? call it by its name
don’t think we think the same
do you really call it love?
Track Name: Bag Away
didn’t know that all this time i could’ve been fine
if i just put my bag away
shoulda known that brighter light’d be alright
if i just put my bag away, put the bag away, throw it all away
oh turn it up now
i’m a grown man but i’m still indecisive
and i can’t decide if I’m really feelin’ okay with this
i’m learnin’ and i’m cool with it
i’m doin’ it
i’m through with it
still every now and then i swear they

sussin’ my bag
ain’t they all wonderin’ just what’s in my bag?
i’m paranoid but i can feel they eyes scanning from side to side
and then up and down, let’s turn it around
they be scopin’ my bag
i swear they think i got some coke in my bag
i’m feelin’ hot but imma stay real fly
just let it all glide, gon’ enjoy the here and now
(sussin’ the bag, scopin’ the bag i know scopin’ the bag, sussin’ me up and down that i know, scopin’ the bag, sussin’ the bag i know)

let it go
you know all this time could’ve been fine if you just put the bag away
i know i could just put my bag away, throw it all away now
shoulda known (but how could i know?)
i’d calm my mind, just put my bag away
i’m really tryin’ – what am i still hidin’?
i know i’m gonna feel they eyes
but they don’t know – oh no –
that i drown – put me down –
in thoughts about what they be thinkin’ bout
but its hard to stop it
know i gotta stop it
put the bag away
you heard me say, “i’m done with this now”
baby hold me to it
but sometimes its hard to bare when baby i swear
they sussin’ my bag...

put the bag away
i can feel their eyes
Track Name: Paper
we ain’t got the paper
but we gonna have a good time
ain’t sure where but we gon’ go
wherever heaven allows
one thing that i know is
we don’t gotta spend a dime
cuz we don’t got it but that don’t mean we can’t party right now

so baby

gon’ now get inside
girl we gettin’ on this free ride
got no reason to be ashamed
hey now hop aboard
ain’t gonna feel bad anymore
heaven knows we ain’t gonna pay
hey missy let me in
know for sure we on that list
do you know how to read my name?
well it don’t matter much to me
either way we gonna dance for free
don’t need no paper that’s okay

and when we cruisin’ baby
we know how to stretch the pavement
they say we got a meter, my baby turn it into a mile
it’s a ball with you here anyway – you know i ain’t fakin’
when we together, we can party anywhere for a while

so baby now...

baby all we need is lovin’
and a good amount of drive
i know that we gonna make it
ain’t you glad to be alive?

smokin’ to the paper cuz we can’t have nothin’ wasted
to the bottom we scrapin’ but i know its gonna change
workin’ harder, movin’ up oh baby gotta be patient
cuz i know they the ones that gon’ pay us to party someday

but for now babe...
Track Name: Man
just because i feel you ain’t gettin me
doesn’t mean you don’t know what you feel
and baby i should’ve learned by now you’re usually right

just because i did not mean that
don’t mean the way i acted wasn’t real
sorry you’re always the first to see me trying to deny

that i got the evil man inside
actin up again

(but i wanna be with you)

ain’t no use in even trying to deny him
identify, start tranquilizing what i can
hopin u stay long enough to enjoy a time when he hardly awake

the moment we decide to stop trying
is the moment it’ll begin to collapse
any moment that u feel i’m not trying let me know straight away

cuz i got the evil man inside
he gon act up again
Track Name: Take Your Time With Me
you said you’d take your time with me
now how you gonna do that?
you said you’d take your time with me
so how you gonna do that, baby?

show me how you do that
wanna see you do that, babe
really gonna do that?
gonna take a proper chance, baby?
i ain’t tryna find somethin’ fast, baby

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