Gainesville alternative rockers The Hails release their newest single, “Younger,” tomorrow.
I sat down with The Hails’ Robbie Kingsley, Dylan McCue, Zach Levy and Franco Solari for an early listen and to chat about what is in store. Here’s what’s coming your way.
The Hails are a five-piece band that released their freshman EP, “Impel,” during summer 2017. The six-track set undoubtedly shows this is a group worth keeping an eye on. The release of “Younger” shows The Hails’ ability to evolve quickly and the group’s potential for musical longevity.
“Younger” takes the rhythmic quality shown in their song “Parking Lot,” and adds a clean, strong groove line, giving the track full body. Kingsley’s vocals, full of controlled emotion, shine their brightest on “Younger.”
“Younger” was produced by 23-year-old Northeastern University graduate Matthew Lewin. Read below for The Hails’ comments on their new track.
Q: I noticed that this song is a lot groovier than some of the songs on “Impel.” What’s the inspiration behind that sound shift?
McCue: I’m glad you noticed that. It’s partly due to the fact that we want to modernize our sound, really. Infectious grooves like that are the future; people want that kind of guttural, primal groove to hit them right away. I think this song does that pretty well.
Q: You guys have talked about your writing process being a bit unstructured, but tell me about “Younger,” is there a story there?
Kingsley: There’s not a story, but like an overall theme of nostalgia and just looking back on your life. Dylan had a good amount of the words coming into the idea.
McCue: Yeah, I don’t normally write lyrics, but for this song I was trying to improvise a vocal melody, just like the notes themselves, and I was just spontaneously getting these phrases. They just came to me. “Tell me how it was when you were younger,” “it’s in the light that she left him” and the pre-chorus. “you don’t know me like that.” Random phrases that came to me just all seemed to evoke this similar image or similar sort of feeling on nostalgia. I think it’s especially relevant to us in our lives now because we’re in this sort of mode now where we are transitioning to different chapters. Robbie and Zach just finished college. Franco and I are in our later half of college. So, I think it's like a nostalgic look back in a time of transition.
Q: You mentioned that you’ve been performing this song at shows. What kind of reactions have you been getting live?
Kingsley: Good ones.
McCue: Very good ones.
Kingsley: That’s what inspired us to make this the first one we put out. I mean, I remember when we played it here for Zach’s birthday. Nick and Hanna, two of our friends were like, ‘oh my gosh, that song is amazing.’
McCue: I think we should tell the story about how the song was born.
Kingsley: Yeah. So, the idea came at a house show here, like a spontaneous house show…. It was only me, Zach and Dylan.
McCue: We had played, like, six songs, and we had no idea what to play next, so we just decided to jam on a couple chords and just fool around. I started playing those two chords, Zach laid down a beat, and we just sort of improvised it for like four and a half minutes.
Kingsley: That was the bare bones of it.
Levy: The song was completely different.
McCue: Then, after the show, Robbie’s friend Logan, who is one of our biggest supporters, was like, “you guys have to write that song.”
Q: Is this a single teasing another release, or just a single?
Kingsley: I mean, we didn’t record just one song. There will be more music, but we don’t know. This is all we have planned for right now.
“Younger” drops on Feb. 22. Stream the single on Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music.