Vancouver-based breakout artist Haley Blais expertly puts into song so much of what humans are feeling. For years now, Haley has turned out song after song of defiant scream-into-your-pillow bedroom pop anthems, recorded in her actual bedroom. She’s organically earned a significant following and online reputation for her self-deprecating, self-loving balladry sung out in operatic crescendos. This summer finally sees the release of her debut full-length album, Below the Salt on August 25 via Tiny Kingdom Music. Today you can hear her brand new single, “On a Weekend” and “TooGood” which was released last month with an accompanying video.
Haley explains, “On a Weekend is originally about FOMO due to social anxiety or lack of a social life. But recently it has kind of inadvertently turned into a sort of quarantine anthem. So when I say, Do what you wanna do without me there with you, I really mean it.”
Following in the footsteps of Haley’s successful 2018 EP Let Yourself Go, the young singer-songwriter and classically trained vocalist finds her signature sound maturing into her own distinct voice on Below the Salt. Featuring production from indie favourites Tennis (Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley) and fellow Vancouver artist Louise Burns, the record bursts out of the gate in a flurry of drums and keys, soaring synths have replaced ukulele noodling, and confidence has replaced doubt as Haley belts out rock and roll confessionals by way of Jenny Lewis, Karen Carpenter or Hayley Williams. Her lyrics riff on the joys and banalities of the every day, on the need to break apart and away from an uninspiring life, on radical acceptance, and manifesting a world where you feel proud of yourself and who you’re surrounded by.
Below the Salt is a coming of age story that recognizes that there is no real ‘coming of age.’ There are hundreds of instances of recognition and of learning. What do we do when we find them? Well according to Haley, we take them with us. As dissonant guitar strings fire and a bass drum pulses on the single “Rob the Original” Haley softly lulls us with this record’s ethos, With all these magic moments sparkling/This one’s mine.
Keep up with Haley on her adored YouTube channel or find her on Instagram. To pre-order Below the Salt on vinyl, visit Tiny Kingdom Music. For the month of June, Haley will donate all proceeds from her Bandcamp sales to Hogan’s Alley Society; an organization that advocates for Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative. More info is available here.