(Photo Credit - Ruth Chapa)
We had the opportunity to do an Advance Review of The Harmaleighs' new album 'She Won't Make Sense' which drops August 2nd! We also had an opportunity to interview the duo! You're definitely going to want to check out this one when it drops. But first, be sure to check out our review and interview!
Advance Review - The Harmaleighs - She Won't Make Sense
Musically this album dances the line of indie-pop delicately, as duo Haley Grant and Kaylee Jasperson build intricate riffs and harmonies together throughout every track. It's a versatile sound that The Harmaleighs create here, as they sometimes work with synth and other times stick to more traditional indie fare of guitar and bass.
This album masterfully touches on issues of mental health through its lyrics in a way that few artists I have ever seen do. Especially regarding anxiety and depression. Haley Grant sings of many behaviors commonly linked to anxiety and depression such as: Not getting about of bed in a day, lack of sleep, not wanting to talk, and having panic attacks.
For the purposes of the album, Grant names her anxiety "Susan". She notes “The whole album is me talking to Susan or Susan acting on my behalf,”. As someone who experiences mental health issues himself, I found the songs not only well written and thought out, but among the most relatable to my own experiences that I have ever heard.
Songs We'd Recommend - "Anthem for the Weak", "Moving my Body", "Talk", "Mannequin", "I Don't Know Myself" and "Dim the Light"
Closing Thoughts - There are certain times when I hear a record and it just feels like it is important. That is, it's going to have some sort of impact, commercially, critically, or just among people. It's not a feeling I get very often, but when I do it's immediate and powerful. I have that feeling about She Won't Make Sense. The Harmaleighs have written something special here. Not just because it's so powerfully touching regarding it's use of themes of mental health. I feel that this album could help people find someone or something to relate to and know they are not alone. Musically, the album is adventurous taking the listener on an mashup adventure of alt, indie, and pop. When this one drops, don't be late to the party...It's great.
Rating - 5/5
Artist Spotlight - The Harmaleighs
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
Haley: I started begging my parents for a guitar around 14/15 and got one for Christmas when I was 16. Immediately interested in writing music. I would use lyrics from poems written and string together with a melody. Completely enamored by the process. My favorite thing was writing all my lyrics in one journal then filling up every last page. The lyrics were shit but finishing a journal off felt like the biggest accomplishment.
Kaylee: I’ve been playing bass since I was 12, and once I hit high school, I was lucky enough to have an amazing mentor that guided me in this direction.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Haley: It’s different every song honestly. I think you have to be in the right mindset for a song to come to you. Sometimes I’m in my car and start humming a melody and nearly crash trying to record it on my phone. Sometimes I have some words that I keep hearing in my head that I want to pair up with a melody, so I’ll sit down with my guitar and try to find something that feels good. And sometimes I sit down with my guitar and both the lyrics and melody come to me at the same time and that is when it’s pure magic.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Haley: Soooooo many. I’ve been following Brandi Carlile since I was 19. Discovering her and her music was like discovering myself. My current faves are Caroline Rose, Emily King, Liza Anne & Phoebe Bridgers.
Kaylee: I’ve always and forever been inspired by David Byrne. He makes me feel like anything is possible in music and that there are no rules. All of the artists that Haley mentioned too, as well as St. Vincent and Lucius.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
Kaylee: I love using my 5 string XJ-1T Xotic bass. It has single coil jazz pickups, but what makes it really special are the wood covers on the pickups. It provides a really nice, warm tone. It was my high school graduation gift from my parents 10 years ago and it is still my go-to bass.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
The vibe is FUN. We like to joke back and forth on stage with each other. We like to think that it’s half comedy, half music ;) And hmmmm, we probably enjoy venues that a) have green rooms and b) give us free food.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
That the feelings being portrayed are genuine, and that if you are feeling that way, you’re not alone.
7. Can you tell us about the writing and recording process for She Won’t Make Sense?
Yeah! So She Won’t Make Sense is a concept record, and the songs were written in order. We tried to record them in order as well! We ended up going back and rerecording tracks 1 and 2, but the intention was there. We got the opportunity to work with Dan Molad from Lucius and he was a dream producer for us. Definitely a time in our career that we will cherish.