The Hollow of Morning

Studio Album by released in 2008

The Hollow of Morning review

Gemma Hayes preferred music to studying at the university

The 31 year old Irish singer Gemma Hayes is one of eight children in a musical family. All of her siblings have been fond of music since childhood in many ways due to the influence of their father who was a keyboardist in a local band. By the time she was to go to college Gemma masterfully played piano already. Studying at a boarding school Hayes could not devote too much time to music that is why she felt really free on graduation. Therefore she refused studying at the university in the Irish capital and concentrated on the career of a singer. In 2002 Gemma's debut album Night on my Side was released to be nominated on Mercury Music Prize the young artist taking a two year hiatus afterwards stating she has lost any wish to listen to music, it was something like an overdoes. Having had some rest the singer returned at the end of 2005 with a sophomore effort The Roads Don't Love You which brought her a Best Irish Female Artist prize, and this spring her third record The Hollow Of Morning is released.

Rich imagination in tracks on The Hollow Of Morning

Gemma Hayes' sensual voice and gentle singing do not cease to please throughout The Hollow Of Morning. Each of the album's 10 tracks present a definite plot created by the Irish's rich imagination. The album opens with This Is What You Do, a slow and reflective song that is nevertheless not fully devoid of emotions which are mainly expressed in its vivid lyrics while the album's first single Out Of Our Hands pleases with a faster tempo and an accompaniment closer to rock. The shortest composition on the record is January 14th, a kind of interlude performed with the only acoustic guitar accompanying the vocals, while a nostalgic deviation Home has probably become the most soulful and touching here. Song In Over My Head beings with the bells sounds and gradually grows into a beautiful love ballad devoted to the singer's beloved, and a surprisingly silent and melodious at the same time composition Chasing Dragons pleases with interesting metaphoric lyrics. A sad song Sad Ol Song is refined with a most beautiful instrumental background full of the synthesizers' ethereal sounds whereas the longest track on the album At Constant Speed, lasting over six minutes has proved to be also the most complicated one with a changing rhythm and a melody which is quite hard to imitate. The record closes with rather a short instrumental song Under A Canopy pleasing with the sounds of flute and wonderful guitar chords.

Graceful, soothing and soft music

Singer and songwriter Joe Chester takes part on a number of tracks on Gemma Hayes' new album for the singer has worked with him on his debut album. The Hollow Of Morning was produced by Paul Noonan from Bell X1 and Kevin Shields who have certainly managed to reach a complete harmony between Gemma's soft vocals and the accompaniment. Kind, sad and reflective compositions of the third album continue the mood of the singer's first two records as she believes the main thing in music to be not the words' direct meaning but the feelings and thoughts it evokes in the listener. That is something for what insane drums or penetrating guitar solos are not necessary for. On the contrary it is enough for Hayes to make a couple of touches in the lyrics to create a subtle but tangible image or tell a story. Naturally most of her pieces reflect the performer's personal feelings and most probably the creative crisis she survived in the past means that Gemma Hayes is of a fine nature, that is why her music is so graceful, soothing and soft.