These two have been making music together since they were 13.
An electric pop-duo out of Boston, Hailey, It Happens is the creation of Bob DiBari (keyboards & programming) and Chris Cleary (guitar & vocals). Two and a half years after their last EP Under the Brilliant Lights, the band are ready to release Hailey, It Happens, their second full-length. 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.
Whether studying old favorites like Bruce Hornsby and Phil Collins, falling in love with the atmosphere created by Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and M83, marveling at the simplicity of Ryan Adams’ song structures, or picking up new inspirations from SBTRKT, Daft Punk, Purity Ring and a host of other artists, their passion for the music around them bled into these songs that were still entirely their own distinct creation.
Their collaborations are marked by both sincerity, and a depth of feeling and expression. Airy, ethereal soundscapes accompany the light, yet impassioned vocals in each track found within Hailey, It Happens. A self-titled release takes on even greater meaning in the context of its creation — navigating the short, leftover hours of the day.
“Heat” is simply one of a larger collection of what ought to be recognized as a soft, intelligent album. 4/5.