Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

SEAN HAYES

Flowering Spade

2007-07-10

This album won me over within the first song, upon hearing the mellow warbly sound of Hayes’ voice and the gentle, confident guitar strums. Mostly, that’s what you hear; guitar (or banjo) and voice, but actually there are other crucial musical things happening that have been so delicately placed that you almost don’t notice them…even while enjoying it. Hayes roped in some very reputable avant-guarde jazz and post pop musicians from NYC, LA and from his home city, San Francisco, to play on this disc. In spite of these wonderful, and important additions, the songs never seem cluttered or busy. The music is so efficient that I had to listen a few times before I noticed a clarinet and an accordion in some songs, yet they very much add to the tunes. He’s often compared to Devendra Banhart, and I would agree, but would say that Hayes is more subtle and slightly less esoteric than Banhart. He is currently touring with Jolie Holland…which makes a lot of sense in that I believe they would appeal to the same crowd. All 13 songs on Flowering Spade are by Hayes. It is his 5th release, but his 1st studio recording. I second the quote from NPR’s All Things Considered; His “songs radiate a shaggy, free-spirited charm that rarely seems attached to any particular era”. Becky

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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