Hayes & Y – Empty Orchestra
(Released April 2nd 2021)
“With phasered soundscapes and layered vocals dancing among the funkier elements of the music, ‘The Times’ feels like a tasteful hybrid between Vulfpeck and MGMT” – RGM
Though Manchester’s Hayes & Y might well have been attracted to the city thanks largely to its musical reputation, the four-piece share little in common with its largest musical exports. Eschewing the swaggering rock ‘n’ roll arrogance in favour of something cooler, sleeker and ultimately more refined.
With members coming from as far afield as Bulgaria and Finland, they’ve wasted little time in becoming fixtures at venues up and down the country, including the likes of London’s Dublin Castle, and Manchester’s iconic Night & Day Cafe, as well as a notable slot on the Spirit of Burgas festival in Bulgaria supporting Kasabian. Most recently, the band have been given the opportunity to participate in the digital edition of ESNS 2021 – the most prestigious showcase festival in Europe and The Netherlands’ answer to The Great Escape.
Like all bands, Hayes & Y have been hit hard by the pandemic. Rather than dwell on the gigs that could have been however, the band have channelled their creativity into a trio of releases, the first of which ‘The Times’, received support from tastemakers such as KEXP and When the Horn Blows, and it’s follow-up ‘Empty Orchestra’ looks set to do likewise.
“I was [originally] writing ‘Empty Orchestra’ for someone else,” explains frontman Blagoslav Anastasov “but the guys loved it so much that we decided to keep it for the band. It’s a more mellow and melodic side of the band, but we still tried to preserve some of that indie disco vibe that we like so much. The lyrics are about trying to get back to a moment of joy and making it last longer.”
Showcasing Hayes & Y’s own brand of dystopian disco perfectly, while offering up a smoother, poppier sound to its predecessor, ‘Empty Orchestra’ is three and a half minutes of steadily mounting pop perfection. And though it’s subject matter might be seeking to recapture those ephemeral moments of joy, ‘Empty Orchestra’ itself is far from fleeting, sure to stick in your head from the instant its closing notes ring out.
Hayes and Y are:
Blagoslav Anastasov – Vocal/guitar
Radoslav Lozanski – Guitar
Ivailo Delev – bass
Dennis Hallbäck – drums