The Harmed Brothers Feel the Sting in “When You See Me”

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Driven by the musical spark between guitarist Ray Vietti and banjo picker Alex Salcido, the Harmed Brothers are revealed as true Americana enthusiasts on their full-length debut, Better Days.

“It’s the honesty in the music that speaks to me. The instrumentation itself is as honest as it gets,” Vietti told CMT Edge about his love for the wide-ranging genre. “There are no effects pedals churching up your acoustic guitar, banjo, bass, etc., changing the tone or sound of the notes being played. It is the instrument in its purest form — raw and bare-boned.”

On “When You See Me,” the Eugene, Ore.-based band take on the final, sad stage of a breakup. Then they wrap that devastating feeling in a security blanket of folk-rock.

Vietti described the impetus behind his sentimental, banjo-driven tune.

“‘When You See Me’ wasn’t even written until we had left the studio in St. Louis to return to our North Carolina hideout,” he said. “The album, Better Days, is in itself reflective of longing for a love to return. It’s hopeful and heartbroken, and in a sense, it felt like it lacked closure. … So when we returned to North Carolina and I sat down with my guitar, it just came out of me. We had spent the last week recording all the songs that came from the steps of losing love. The deep sadness, longing for return, realizing it’s over but never truly accepting it to be over and moving on.

“‘When You See Me’ is that acceptance. It’s the closure I couldn’t find, and at the same time, it’s just in the literal sense asking that when we see each other again, [we should] try and treat each other with respect. We loved each other. … I hope that is conveyed well in the song.”

Check out the Harmed Brothers’ wounded harmony on “When You See Me.”

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