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Pay attention to this gal because She's worth it!!,
This review is from: Circles [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
This album has been a long time coming. The Single of this 'Turn To Stone', was released 29th July 2013. Hayley has been part of the local music scene here in Leeds, West Yorkshire for over 10 years. I became aware of her back in the days when Myspace was worth bothering with, around 2005. Thankfully, she got over her Beat-boxing Laryn (Fugees) Hill inpersonating fairly quickly!
All songs written and performed by Hayley Gaftarnick (except 'Don't Leave' by
Hayley Gaftarnick and Jonny Firth).
Recorded by Lee Smith & James Lockhart. Produced by Lee Smith (of the Leeds band Middleman)at Greenmount Studios, Leeds. Mastered by Tom Woodhead at Hippocratic.
Photography by Ashley Karrell and Matt Baxter. Cover Design by Alex Melia. Original artwork by Hayley Gaftarnick.
Electric Guitars - Jonny Firth, and Sam Lawrence. Drums - Nicci Todd and Pat Bannon. Bass & upright Double Bass - Adam Richards. Shane Durrant - Keyboards & backing vocals. Other backing vocalists Becka Ward and Rosie Doonan. Sam Thornton - Sax & Barritone Sax. Trumpet - Simon Beddoe(of Submotion Orchestra. Trombone-Ric Collie. Dwaine Kilvington - keys on 'Forget You.'
Strings by Jamie Lockhart. Brass & strings arranged by Lee Smith.
When I first became aware of the tracks for this album, I was personaly dissappointed to note the lacking of 3 of the Best songs Hayley ever wrote, 'Hard Times'(I had tears in my eyes first I heard this song), 'Smile' and 'Tired Eyes.' And having the original versions of 'Self Destruck' and 'I Don't Mind', I wish Hayley had kept closer to them than the re-constructions of them on here. That's just my own take on that matter, but, that's part of the point of a Review.
That aside, it is obvious to anyone that knows Hayley, she had much fun making this collection of 11 songs. Maybe too much fun though, as there appears to an attempt to try too many music genres for one album. Heart-felt singer-songwriters odes to lifes many trifles, Blues, Jazz, borderline skiffle, and soul.
I love how deeply personal and honest Hayley's lyrics can be. Such as 'Circles', 'What Am I Worth?' and 'For The Last Time.' I can relate to many of the words she sings and imagine many other listeners could.
Then there is the playful humour of 'Too Close For Comfort.' If it wasn't for the swearing, this would be a radio friendly tune!
It would be fair to say this album has been dolloped in lashing of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Etta James,Duffy, Dusty Springfield, Lianne La Havas, with sprinkles of Emilia Mitiku, Carmel(McCourt),Ren Harvieu, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Josephine((Oniyama).
The impressive thing about Hayley Gaftarnick is her voice. It would be most difficult to compare her husky voice to anyone specific. Her voice is as distinctive as her name. Hayley is Leeds lass, born and bred, but is 2nd generation Polish Jewish extraction.
When you know that Hayley got into writing songs was as a cathartic process of coping with the loss of her mother when she was only 15 years old. Putting pen to paper and putting on emotional body armour has been Hayley's coping meckonism. Hayley is a survivor!
Buy this album and listen with intent and you will take away something you can relate to and treasure. The album may not be a polished stone, but is a precious jewel.