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Sunseed (International Version)

Hayley Sales

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Album Review

It might seem a bit reductive to call Hayley Sales a female Jack Johnson, but the barefoot-in-the-sunshine vibe of the young singer/songwriter's debut album is so in keeping with Johnson's laid-back mellowness that the comparison is difficult to avoid. The first single, "What You Want," is an easygoing shuffle for acoustic guitar and brushed drums, topped by Sales' kittenish vocal and personal-empowerment lyrics, positively screaming for airplay on adult alternative radio stations and at organic food co-ops across North America. What keeps Sunseed from being merely coffeehouse fodder, however, is Sales' knack for melody and the relaxed charm of the simple but varied arrangements. (The 21-year-old Sales, the daughter of a recording engineer, produced the album herself at her dad's home studio on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.) The wide-eyed lyrics occasionally come off a bit clumsily, like the overworked metaphors of the opening "Jailcell Mind," but given Sales' relative youth, the occasional misstep is forgivable, and at the album's best (the Suzanne Vega-like closer, "Braille"), she makes up for the few faults.

Biography

Born: 31 August 1986 in Washington DC

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Providing a distaff version of the easygoing, sun-and-surf folk-rock of Jack Johnson or Ben Harper, Hayley Sales also rates comparison to more musically expansive alternative folkies like Erin McKeown and even Suzanne Vega. The daughter of a recording engineer, Hayley Sales was born in Washington, D.C., and raised near Portland, OR. Although Sales taught herself to play piano and guitar starting at the age of eight, she attended a performing arts school in Portland with an eye toward becoming an...
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Sunseed (International Version), Hayley Sales
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