Love songs are everywhere. I’m pretty convinced we hear them for the entire month of February, and they’re usually overdone. In the last few years, finding a decent love song has been the bane of Mix-Tape-Makers everywhere. Enter Travis Hayes.
Hayes’s debut album, Young Daze, was a soundtrack to growing up, but his latest three-track release, Love Songs, takes a hard look at love. Featuring the vocals of Emily Whitehurst, the small EP packs an unbelievable punch with acoustics that will tug at each individual heartstring.
Starting the EP off with a soft, swelling instrumental, “Kate’s Song” is rich in quality and beauty. Folk elements make this track feel humble, and yet, the intensity of the promise of a future still remains. The track seems to perfectly capture the feeling of being so taken by someone that you don’t even want to imagine being with anyone else. It’s a soulful and all-consuming emotion that Hayes seems to know all too well.
“Megan’s Song” is like sweet iced tea and honey on a hot day. The instrumental is sunny, but the lyrics are not as fickle as the summer sun. This is the promise to love someone forever; until the day they die. In many ways, this is the ideal “tie the knot” tune. “[E]ven as a three word sentence, and this rhetoric, although generic, means more to me than I’ve ever known it to[…],” Hayes croons, and it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful track.
However, it is “Night Swimming,” featuring Emily Whitehurst, that proves to stand out. The uncertainty of love is perfectly recreated with this plea from one person to another to open up. “”Let down your guard, you’re not the only one sharing half a heart,” Hayes and Whitehurst beg in harmony, closing the EP out on a perfect finish.
Love Songs is an indulgent, beautifully crafted EP, featuring cello, vocal harmonies, and acoustic guitar. There is a wealth of quality stacked into such a small amount of songs, and this three-track EP could compete with any full-length. Hayes proves to be an original, yet traditional folk artist, who doesn’t feel the need to dazzle you to distract you; through careful attention and simplicity, his artistic abilities enchant far more than any fancy production tricks.
For more on Travis Hayes or to buy concert tickets, click HERE.
Love Songs is out on March 31st. To purchase a CD, click HERE.
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