Michael Harlen is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter originally from Silver Springs, Maryland. Growing up on DC post-punk and hardcore, Harlen started playing guitar in rock bands at age 13 and continued playing shows locally around DC and Baltimore throughout high school. In 2008 he moved to New York City to study music at New York University, and proceeded to start his career freelancing as a guitarist and bassist. In addition, Harlen started playing, recording and touring with several bands including EMEFE, Christopher Paul Sterling, and the Rad Trads.
Listen to any number of records from these bands or even the Dala Records catalog and you will hear the tasteful contributions from the one they call "Big Country." On any instrument, Michael's voice shines through and that's why we were thrilled to present his debut solo effort, The Big Country EP, as he performed nearly every instrument on the record himself. Now, Michael is back to give us his newest single We Didn't Know which features fellow Rad Trad and Dala Records label-mate Patrick Sargent on tenor saxophone. Recorded and mixed on 8 tracks of analog tape, We Didn't Know showcases Harlen's ever-growing songwriting, performing and production talents. Finding inspiration from bands such as Big Star and Sly & The Family Stone, Michael utilizes new studio recording techniques and instruments to deliver this fiery new single.