Nothing good comes out in December, right? That’s more or less what most of the major music publications would have you believe, as End-of-the-Year lists start hitting the web in earnest earlier and earlier each year. This year, the start date was around Thanksgiving week. Maybe by 2026, we can make it all the way to Halloween! Personally, I’ll never finalize an AOTY list until mid-to-late December, and albums like Hailey, It Happens are Exhibit A for why that is. Not only was this record—the fourth official release and second full-length from Boston-based electropop duo Hailey, It Happens—a December 2nd release, but it’s also the kind of album that wouldn’t have sounded quite right until this particular time of year. On Hailey, It Happens, the band’s sound is driven by icy synths, yearning vocals, and wistful hooks built to come alive on the coldest nights of the year.
Hailey, It Happens are an electronic music duo from Boston, MA who have been friends and collaborators since they were 13 years old. Last Friday they released their brand new self-titled album. The album is now up on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Apple Music. Two and a half years after their last EP, Under the Brilliant Lights, and recorded during time stolen between full-time jobs as an accountant and a teacher, the record chronicles 36 consequential months in the duo’s lives.
Between the first session with veteran producer Jon Taft (The Saddest Landscape, Bearstronaut, Morne) and the last layered harmony, songs about girlfriends became songs about fiancés and then wives. Songs were informed by visiting places all over the world. The muse for songs of hurt and goodbye on past records became the inspiration for new songs about a blossoming relationship. And during every break between fevered writing and recording sessions, the face of the music world changed, and these two music obsessives listened to, absorbed and repurposed a whole world of new sounds into their own aesthetic.
If you’re looking for a song to start with, try streaming “Dandelion” below.
It’s a weird thing about being a music “critic”: you’re consistently comparing the songs and albums you hear to other icons and indices from your own listening experience and trying to decipher individual influences within an artist’s sound, but in most cases, you have no real idea whether those influences were there at all or whether the similarities you noticed were intentional. Instead, you’re left driving blind, projecting your own musical history and preferences onto the work of someone you’ve never even met or spoken to, let alone traded records with. But that’s what makes it such a pleasure when someone you know unleashes a remarkable musical work. You get to hear the music they’ve been championing to you for years – the songs you’ve shared, the musical moments you’ve both remarked upon – reflected back at you in their own musical creations. In essence, you hear the person you have gotten to know encapsulated in the words and chords of the music they write, and in doing so, you get to know that person a little bit better.Read More “Hailey, It Happens – Under the Brilliant Lights”