(Photo Credit - Jake Bordan)
Advance Review - Haux: Violence in A Quiet Mind (July 17, 2020)
With a couple highly rated EP’s under his belt, Indie-Folk artist Haux (Also known as Producer Woodson Black) returns with Violence in a Quiet Mind, his first full length album. The title is very intuitive as he becomes vulnerable about rehashing his past and the pain of being around the loss of family and in an environment of drugs and other substances. The album is produced by Thomas Bartlett. Having worked with Sufjan Stevens in the past, their echoey style of vocals is an apparent influence on Violence in a Quiet Mind. Bartlett acted as a great influence to Haux as well when he was able to help him tease out his feelings portrayed on the album despite several bouts of frustration, one leading him to shelf the project at one point.
The album is preempted by a string of singles, some of which are more reflexive of the trauma he experienced as a child. ‘Heavy’ is the sound of emotions Black felt when he had found out one of his Aunts had died of an accidental overdose. She had been suffering a brain Tumor, and Black was first hand witness to her pain. At an early age, his mother had relocated them to the east coast to be closer to her five sisters and to escape his father who abused drugs.
‘Eight” is another single about the loss of one of his beloved Aunts, this one passing away from lung cancer. The ballad of the intertwining vocals of Black and Rosie Carney really hits on the sadness of seeing the ones you love deteriorate. Reminiscing on some of this had led Black to have very dark thoughts and him coming to the realization he toed the line with of suicides far too closely.
‘Gone’ is one of the most impressive songs off the album. The raw vocals and simple arrangement make it feel the most honest. It seems to really capture the essence of Black’s statement about the album- “The album is about honesty after hiding for so many years. I think it’s something like a self-guided therapy session for sensitive people like me. It’s an album for people who naturally hide their true feelings; people that look OK on the outside but are struggling on the inside, people who think they don’t deserve to get the help they really need”.
Early today (7/12/2020) Haux tweeted: “I can’t wait to play this album for you guys in person once things get safer. I miss seeing you guys.”
I can’t wait to see you either, my friend.
Rating - 4.5/5