Sean Hayes

Low Light, the eighth album from independent recording artist Sean Hayes, captures his distinctive sound at its most intimate. Recorded both at home and in the studio, Low Light webs its way through genres, incorporating the pulse and yearning of R&B with the low-fi grit and crackle of folk. From the gauzy, beat-driven title track to the aching, old-school country “Sing Me Your Love Song,” Hayes’ voice glides between a growling purr and seductive vibrato, transporting the listener into a rich, sensual latenight world. In his twenty -year career as a San Francisco-based musician, Hayes has won acclaim from fans and critics alike. He’s duetted with Aimee Mann, toured with Ani DiFranco and the Cold War Kids, been covered by The Be Good Tanyas and re-mixed by DJ Mark Farina, and had his music featured in a variety of television shows, films, and commercials. Raised in North Carolina and honed as an artist in Northern California, Hayes crafts music that, as the SF Weekly puts it, “succeeds on the tension between warm, resonant soul and dirt-road folk, all laced with a wandering troubadour’s coo.” In the track “Home I Left” Hayes sings of leaving San Francisco--“headed north with my young family/needed space to grow”--and this album is structured to represent snapshots from his life in the four years since. Low Light thrums with songs of desire, sanctuary, and the redemptive power of love.

The Blank Tapes

The Blank Tapes is now and always has been Matt Adams, a soft-spoken kid from a Southern California suburb who learned to play practically every instrument a good garage band needs, and then started making beautifully idiosyncratic records on his trusty home eight-track because … well, why wait? When he first heard the Beatles and the Kinks, he knew he needed to make his own songs, too, and so in 2003 he did, with the kind of inspiration and confidence and personality you’d think have faded out in 1967.

His songs are alive with style and sentiment of immortals like Ray Davies and Robyn Hitchcock (“Earring”) or Kris Kristofferson and Terry Allen (“Working,” “Vacation”) or even Lou Reed (“Pearl,” written about girlfriend and Blank Tapes drummer Pearl Charles the night he met her) and Buddy Holly (the adorable bridge of “Coast to Coast”) or even Os Mutantes on “Brazilia,” a bossa-delic song inspired by Adams’ informal park jam sessions on his Brazilian tour. With studio help from drummer Will Halsey and a series of bassists, Vacation is an everything-old-is-new-again album—a record chasing down timelessness in its own time.



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