January 17, 2013

Gemma Hayes

After having it on my Amazon wishlist for over a year (and no one buying it for me), I finally bought Gemma Hayes 2011 album Let It Break. It is terrific and honestly is filling a hole in my music listening.

I discovered Gemma Hayes in 2008 and her previous album Hollow of Morning I ranked my #5 album of the year. Despite loving that album, I never did complete background research on her, and I inexplicably did not buy her newest album the day it was released. I'll never make that mistake again.

If you read about her online you'll often see her described as an "Irish folk singer". While true, that pigeonholes her and doesn't give her credit for the diversity and breadth of her songwriting. Not to mention sometimes her songs are almost shoegaze and feature lots of rock and electronic elements. Most of the time her music is pretty quiet, but it is not just her and an acoustic guitar as "Irish folk singer" would imply.

I am embedding two videos below. The first is the lead single off Let it Break. While a strong video, it is one of the weaker songs on the album in my opinion and not a good showcase of her talents. The second video (ironically a weak one), is my favorite Gemma Hayes song from the Hollow of Morning. While these two songs are an incomplete and imperfect picture of what you can expect to hear on her albums, it is a good start.

Her music is currently providing the perfect soundtrack to my life in this cold month.


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