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ALBUM REVIEW: Travis Hayes ‘Young Daze’

Young Daze album cover
Young Daze album cover

Albums about being young seem to be a dime a dozen, but when you hear one and it just sticks with you, that’s when you know it’s good. Travis Hayes’ Young Daze will entrance you and prove to be the refreshing, crisp sound you’ve been looking for.

The opening track, “Song From a Movie,” really does sound like just that; a track that’s been in one of your favorite films. It’s entirely instrumental, reminiscent of the soundtrack to the climax of a rom-com (enter Billy Crystal running down Manhattan’s streets on New Year’s Eve), or even one of the many films in which a teenager/young twenty-something has an epiphany and also does a lot of running (got to squeeze that cardio in sometime, right?). No matter what type of film, Travis Hayes has created a perfect instrumental accompaniment.

The title track of the album, “Young Daze” showcases a dominant bass, and gruff vocals that blend seamlessly. I love how rock and roll this track sounds, without being in your face. In some instances, I thought the instrumental elements might overpower Hayes’ vocals. However, as the song goes on, he really takes charge, commanding the listener’s attention. “Twenty Nothing” is similar with its powerful bass, but it’s like a wonderful hybrid of 70s rock with modern alternative-indie. Between the catchy chorus and the relatable struggle of growing up, it’s perfection, especially when you factor in that amazing guitar solo.

“Follow Me Home” has my favorite introduction of all of the tracks. There is something cinematic and sweet, with an irresistible indie vibe. It truly is a stunning edition to the album, especially when the incredible music remains consistent and is paired with soulful vocals and lyrics. When the beat comes in, the song suddenly takes on a three dimensional tone, rounding out into an excellent display of artistry. And hello! Who doesn’t love a good harmonica every now and then? “Take Me Home” has a similar vibe, as well as a similar title. It maintains that folksy style that only shines brighter with the back and forth vocals by Travis Hayes and his female guest. Despite being a short song, it carries along with the rest of the album beautifully, and has a summertime appeal.

The same can be said for “Night Swimming,” with it’s folk-blues tone, pleading lyrics, and perfect timing. It is easily my favorite song on the entire album. It’s so well-written and powerful with its simplicity, it is hard to ignore. “Let down your guard, you’re not the only one sharing half a heart,” Travis Hayes wails, making his desperation almost seem tangible. It takes a good artist to make people fully understand how they’re feeling, and Hayes accomplishes that with ease.

Living in Florida, one thing that was on the news a lot last summer was the use of bath salts as a drug, so I figured that “Bath Salts” would be a drug reference of some sort. It definitely has a 70s-influenced musical quality, especially in the verses. Hayes’s vocals are superb, reminding me more and more of The Maine’s John O’Callaghan own capabilities. “Teen Haze” is very similar, brimming with teenage angst.

Hands down, one of the most soulful tracks on the album, “Wayfarer” features a beautiful organ, poetic lyrics, and an instrumental suite that will knock your socks off. My favorite thing about this track is the narrative provided, and the story of a love that’s fallen to pieces, and left our hero both heartbroken and bitter. “Towns Like These” also has a poetic style to it, reminding me of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road in many ways. I could listen to it on repeat for days without much thought, especially if I’m walking around town, just watching the world go by.

It would be very easy to say that I enjoyed the album, and leave it at just that. But I must add that Young Daze is a brilliant introduction for those of us who have never listened to Travis Hayes. This album truly solidifies him as a relevant and skilled artist.

For more on Travis Hayes, and to  buy concert tickets to future shows,click HERE. To purchase a CD click HERE.

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Founder/CEO of Planet Stereo Entertainment - Writer for Infectious Magazine and RibbitTV - NASM Certified personal trainer with a diploma in Exercise Science - Kettle Bell certified - Aspiring filmmaker.

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