Irish singer/songwriter wakes to a new Morning
Even by its title, Gemma Hayes’ third album, The Hollow of Morning, sounds like a sequel to her celebrated 2003 debut, Night on My Side. Here, she and Night co-producer David Odlum revisit the compelling mix of organic instruments and synthetic effects that first distinguished her from her peers. Hayes remains a straightforward songwriter and an evocative singer who can project confidence and vulnerability in the same exhalation. You can hear her taking breaths and running her fingers over frets during the quiet “Chasing Dragons” and short epistolary “January 14th,” but Morning sounds just as intimate when Hayes and Odlum swathe the songs in dense, sculpted shoegazer sounds. With its dream-big lyrics and ecstatic chorus, “Out of Our Hands” bounces on a fuzzy guitar riff courtesy of My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, and “At Constant Speed” explodes in a burst of Flock of Seagulls synths, leaving you wondering what Hayes has planned for her afternoon.