New Music Premiere: Ames Harding & the Mirage’s “Tiger Balm” is a smooth and sultry late summer treat

What’s the word? Catch them Friday at the Thunderbird.

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Ames Harding & The Mirage. Photo by Victoria Miller Photography.

oh temptation abounds

hypnotic, gracious and proud

I don’t know Ames Harding personally, but the singer/songwriter seems like something of a bon vivant.

You know, a man who appreciates the finer things in life. Perhaps, even, a bit of a hedonist. 

New single, “Tiger Balm,” takes the listener by the hand through the “humid decadence of a night in Havana.” A sparse, groovy bass line and syncopated hand drums anchor the rhythm, while Harding softly sings of “nectar sweet and the honey sweeter / from my lungs into the speaker.”

Produced by rock band Animal Scream, the new single is “lush and tender,” and an “exploration of bisexuality” says Harding. Hear it yourself for the first time:

Harding, who was born in Guatemala, also lived in Egypt, India, Chile, and Mexico — the source for the band’s cosmopolitan sound. Havana, where Harding studied abroad, is where he met percussionist Hugo Cruz, who will be sitting in with the band Friday, alongside vocalist Kelsey Wooley Jumper. In addition to Harding, “the Mirage” comprises Eli Weidman on drums, Mike Saunders on bass, and AJ Arnett on percussion.

Catch them live this Friday at Thunderbird with support from Different Places In Space, Zinnia’s Garden, DJ Pandemic Pete, and DJ Jarrett Tebbets. The first 20 people in attendance receive a free poster. The music starts at 8pm.

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He is a 2x 2023 Western PA Press Club Golden Quill award winner, in feature and business reporting. And a 3x finalist in the investigative reporting category.

He is a 2018 first prize winner in environmental reporting from the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on lead in Pittsburgh’s drinking water.

In 2022 and 2021, he was awarded a grant from The Gumshoe Group to support his investigative reporting.