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on 26 November 2011
Amidst a slew of vocal imitators and poorly written saccharine sweet female artists with nothing whatsoever to say Gemma hayes stands head and shoulders above the by and large mediocre crowd. At her best she is fit to rub shoulders with the likes of Aimee Mann and Shawn Colvyn to name a few of those rare female writers who actually write songs rather than pen pointless pop jingles. While her second album is still her best and most consistent effort this runs it a close second. Here we have more diversity than on any previous album save perhaps Night on my side, which while having several highlights was a little uneven. Stand out tracks are Keep Running, Shock to my system, and the best song on the album Ruin. A better effort than Hollow of the Morning and songs which deserve more airplay, and an artist who deserves more publicity. Maybe if she wore a meat dress and stuck a phone on her head people would take more notice; what a stupid world we live in.
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on 23 August 2013
Gemma Hayes continues the good work here with another collection of good rhythms and slower,sometimes almost whispered, songs. The faster rhythms carry the album, while some of the slower ones have a tendency to collapse a little towards over introspection. This album is short of her excellent debut best Night On My Side, but way better than her poor second release The Roads Don't Love You - an assessment that varies widely from some other reviews! Not quite as good as The Hollow Of Morning, perhaps this artist is now past her best, but this album is certainly still worth buying - but try the debut album first. This one is good - but not memorable.
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on 18 July 2011
There is just something about Gemma Hayes ... her music grabs your heart. The songs on this album capture and communicate emotions on a visceral level unlike almost anyone else I can think of. By way of comparison, I bought the latest Nerina Pallot cd at the same time as this and it's very nice indeed but at no point does it make the hairs on the back of your neck or arm stand up - unlike this latest from GH.

I'm not going to go through the album track by track but I will mention certain standouts:

Keep Running - gorgeous breezy innocent(?) actually reminds me a little "Hanging Around" on her debut but without the crunching electric guitars.

Brittle Winter - incredibly atmospheric and powerful, an almost Shakespearian sense of despair and loss.

Shock To My System - if Gemma was on a major label this would be a single and being played all over the radios because it's melodicly accessible and is full of that powerful sense of wonder we all feel when we first fall in love.

There's Only Love - Oh my god! Words fail me (nearly) .... one of the things I love about Gemma is the way she incorporates quite traditional Irish folky harmonies and instrumentation into her songs but it still feels of the moment. The song is so lyrically simple but it builds from something slow and quiet to a blissed out crescendo. It captures perfectly the drug-like effect of being in love.

As always with her music is feels powerfully autobiographical and thankfully it seems like she's in a pretty good place at the moment. Just wish she would come and play in the UK a bit more!!!
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on 2 April 2012
For me I felt her 'Night On My Side' album was my favorite because it reminds me of moments in my life at that time although I haven't listened to 'The Hollow of Morning' fully.. assuming this would be the 2nd album reviewers are referring to?
I like pretty much all the songs on this album but I would have to say 'Fire' & 'All I Need' are the ones I listen to the most! I wish Gemma Hayes was on the radio more & I wish people can one day hear/see the talent they are missing out on.
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on 1 November 2012
My first listen to this album - in the car - didn't reveal its secrets. I then saw Gemma play in London and the songs revealed themselves. On the next listen, especially starting from track 4 and then listening through and back to track 3 just worked. A great, original album that rewards more on each listen.
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on 3 July 2012
Another album of Gemma's that I just can't take out of my cars CD player. Her voice has such a beautiful distinct tone. Arrived very quickly too. A definite recommendation.
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on 3 September 2015
Very slow but good
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