Musician Kirsten “Haze” Hazler remembers being deeply affected after studying Margaret Atwood’s nightmarish novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Years later, she was reluctant to look at the favored tv sequence Hulu as a result of she didn’t wish to tarnish her reminiscence of the guide. When she lastly noticed the primary two seasons with binge watch, she was overwhelmed. And above all, impressed.
Hazler, half of the acoustic indie-folk duo Haze and Dacey, quickly found that the 2 seasons offered a wealthy vein of songwriting materials. “Everything that went on, together with makes an attempt to revoke reproductive rights and assaults on bodily autonomy, left an emotional mark on me,” remembers Hazler. “I began by writing ‘My Name is June’ about the primary character, then ‘Blue’ so I knew it was an entire album.”
The singer-songwriter and guitarist appreciated the respectful diversion of the sequence, the event of different characters, and the alternatives for songs. Hazler and his accomplice John Dacey, normally on bass, started taking part in a few of these new songs throughout stay gigs in Virginia with the purpose of recording in 2020. But when the pandemic broke out, Hazler stopped tuning in to the Hulu sequence altogether.
“I felt like I could not see any extra dystopia as a result of we had greater than sufficient right here in actual life,” she says. Although her songs had been beforehand written about her personal experiences, she now writes within the function of different characters: “It was actually liberating to not write about myself.”
With her primary job unaffected by the pandemic, Hazler used 2020 as a possibility to boost funds that might permit her to self-fund the recording of an album based mostly on the sequence. “It was very liberating to know that I might go to the studio and never have to fret about repetitions,” she explains. “I might use the additional time and permit the songs to solidify slightly.” But with pandemic restrictions nonetheless in place, the recording appeared a great distance off.
When 2021 rolled round and life wasn’t again to regular, Hazler determined to not wait any longer. She reached out to her musical circle, contacted musicians whose work she favored and requested if they might be keen on a recording. Unlike the acoustic frugality of Haze and Dacey, she envisioned a fuller band sound for the album she wished to name “Letters from Gilead”. Drummer Blee Child, guitarist Leslie Williams, mandolin participant Doug Austin, saxophonist Allen Burris and backing vocalists Jolie Harrison, Megan Rollins and Doug Hewitt have all signed up for the recording. Hazler drove acoustic guitar and piano, together with lead and a few back-up vocals.
Because this occurred earlier than the vaccinations had been up, the group by no means held band workout routines collectively. Hazler despatched every of them scratch tracks or demos she had recorded in order that they might apply on their very own earlier than the subsequent session. The Haze and Dacey Collective wore masks besides once they had been singing, and met on the Sound of Music Studios’ non permanent warehouse in February to have John Morand assemble the album. “It was so chilly, I might see Blees’ breath,” she remembers.
Since the songs had been solely performed as a duo, Hazler admits that among the new variations have a completely totally different really feel to it, albeit in a great way. “They do not actually know what is going on to occur as I used to be simply giving them the construction of the tune,” she says. “They got here up with one thing and we did it, then typically we needed to optimize one thing and file it once more. It was like opening a present as a result of I did not know what was going to occur. ”“ Letters from Gilead ”was launched in November and options within the face of the album’s multi-genre songs, from people rock and nation to speakeasy -Swing, a large attraction. Like Patty Griffin – considered one of her musical heroes for her storytelling capacity – Hazler’s singing invitations the listener.
She rapidly factors out that it’s not essential to know “The Handmaid’s Tale” with the intention to benefit from the music. “These songs cope with common themes – the lack of love, hope, humanity, and braveness – as they try to stay a dystopian nightmare so everybody can discover which means in it,” she says. “And for individuals who noticed the present, you get an additional layer, you may even keep in mind the episode.” When requested if she thinks this can be a political album, Hazler explains that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is simply as political. “It is a warning about what can occur in the event you let fanatics take energy, in the event you take away human rights.”
She is aware of that there’s a hazard of alienating among the listeners, however that does not concern her anymore.
“These songs actually poured out of me,” she admits. “I’ve to say what I’ve to say.”
Letters from Gilead is obtainable to stream and obtain straight from hazyshadeproductions.com