After 2 previous EPs, Barracuda EP (2016) and Fierce Love EP (2015), this debut album from Hayley Ross has been four years in the making and has been well worth the wait. Hayley co-produced and co-engineered The Weight Of Hope with Martyn Baker, who also played drums and percussion and it was mixed by John Leckie and mastered at Abbey Road studios.
The thirteen tracks, which include a number from the previous EPs, vary in style from the swish beat of Barracuda to the Phil Spector-ish Wall of Sound ‘Come Back’ to the gentle ‘Tumbledown’, but they all seem to fit which must come down to how carefully she has thought through the running order.
She plays an amazing array of instruments including guitars, bass, harmonium, mandolin, melodica, cigarbox, monotron, stylophone, psaltery, guitarele and harmonica, which is incredible as she is completely self taught.
It’s hard to place this album in the folk spectrum so I’ll just say it has a very original, sophisticated and full sound and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you need a point of reference then there were tracks that reminded me of some of my other favourite independent artists such as Jess Morgan, Charlotte Carpenter and even Gita de Ridder, but as I said earlier the tracks are varied in style.
I hope we don’t have to wait another four years for the next one.
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‘Tumbledown’ – official video: