(Photo Credit - Zach Hagy)
Advance Review - Hala: Red Herring (May 1, 2020) on Cinematic
Hala, AKA Detroit-based musician Ian Ruhala is releasing his studio debut Red Herring. The album is a playful alt-pop menagerie of songs infused with indie-electronic beats, decade spanning melodies, and bright vocals from Ruhala.
Ruhala gave a bit of background into his inspiration for Red Herring via press release stating: “For me, this record represents the moments in life where there is a sense of confusion to whether we’re living in a comedy or a tragedy,”. He added “Sometimes these feelings intermingle with each other”. You can feel this duality merge on tracks like "Camera", where Ruhala approaches the track with a light classical touch, while lyrically evoking images of the weapon used to kill JFK.
Favorites from the album include "Somehow", especially the fantastic leads, the highly catchy "Why Do You Want Anything With Me", and the deliberately paced "Emotional R&B".
Ruhala has achieved something that disassociates itself from the tropes of genre and the tribalism often associated with such things. His music is thought out, striking, and highly listenable. For Red Herring to be his studio debut, the wind is clearly at Ruhala's back and it's exciting to see what the future holds for the young singer/songwriter. What's abundantly clear, is that Hala is one to keep your eye (and ears) on.
Rating - 4/5