Joel Porter is a promising electronic-acoustic folk artist from North Dakota, who’s presently residing in Nashville. His new track “Ready for the Harrow” – released on July 20th – is a highlight from his upcoming Hiraeth EP, out on August 3rd.

Joel Porter is an ambient-folk writer, instrumentalist, and producer from North Dakota, now living in Nashville, TN. As an instrumentalist, he has recorded string and brass parts for Foreign Fields, Hembree, Matthew and the Atlas, and Boom Forest. In 2017, with the guidance of producer Eric Hillman (Foreign Fields), he introduced his intimate, ambient-folk solo project with the release of the nature-inspired “Mountain Twin EP”. Again in collaboration with Hillman, Joel is set to release his heritage-inspired “Hiraeth EP’” in August 2018.

A native musical son of Bismarck, Joel went to Nashville to find his truth. He woke up early to pour coffee, stayed up late to finish songs, and along the way met other travelers* seeking the same truth that he was. These people moved him and were moved by him, and along the way, he discovered that he was the treasure he had been seeking.

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He returned to North Dakota and discovered that there were spirits hidden in cracks and crevices everywhere he looked. His simple observation could coax these beautiful truths out of hiding. His dreams of mountainside campfires and prairie oceans were full of them. And from these observations, he felt certain he was emboldening and strengthening the truths that he was finding. Making them richer and deeper.

“The Hiraeth EP is a very cyclical album… one that covers the seasons of life, of change, of perspective. The last full song on this album, ‘Ready for the Harrow’, holds a very bittersweet place in my heart,“ Joel explains. "The day that Eric and I were in the studio recording this song, I got a phone call from my father telling me that my Grandpa Tony, who speaks the poem on the instrumental intro, ‘The Warden’, passed away peacefully surrounded by my family. We actually recorded the song he is featured on the next day and I brought it back to North Dakota for my family to hear at the wake. I hated being away… but giving that to my family turned out to be such a blessing… a little piece of him here we can all go back to. I never intended this song to be departure song, but naturally, since that day, it acts as the actual act and acceptance of letting go. In biblical terms, the ‘harrow’ refers to Christ’s descent into hell to free the righteous held captive. I was inspired by that idea… and the act of an intentional release of what is held captive. I didn’t know that it would be a lesson or a message, I would have to internalize and put into practice in my own life.”

“’Harrow’ is about finding a peace that we choose after we “till” our inner spaces, break up the clots we’ve formed, reform, and prepare to greet what is next. I didn’t write it to discredit our pasts, our memories, or the things we hold dear. I’m very proud of where I’ve been, and of my upbringing and family name. Instead, I realized some of the ways I viewed life… ones I was clinging to and strangling the last bit of life out of… no longer existed outside of my own mind… and I wanted to write something that mimicked the example my elders have demonstrated regarding how to grow, change, and learn with grace. Ready for the Harrow is a song full of gratitude towards our best memories, but an understanding that we have a responsibility to continue on with peace in all we leave, and all we love.. a peace awaiting what is yet to come.”


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