Hayley Lam – “Being Alive” – Single Review
You know…I honestly don’t know exactly what I was expecting with the music of Hayley Lam…but I can sure tell you what came through my speakers moments after pressing play felt like an extraordinary surprise. Perhaps I was caught judging a book by its cover for a second…Lam has a striking & stunning look about her that I naturally assumed would have her in the Pop or Rock genres; and I was pretty much overjoyed to hear that Hayley’s music was something entirely different altogether. Well…for the most part…I suppose you could potentially make a few comparisons to rock through the progressive ideas and structure on Lam’s new single “Being Alive” – but for the most part, we’re talking about bold, innovative and cutting-edge contemporary jazz.
“Jazzzzz,” you say, “isn’t that just a nice way of saying ‘unorganized music being played passionately?’”
Truthfully, for some folks out there, sure, they’ve put their music there without the intense training, learning or true knowledge of the genre and it can sound sloppy – but that’s not the case here with Hayley. I will give you the option…I can sum it up quickly by saying that she’s got diplomas and degrees of all kinds, or we can spend the REST of this entire review listing the astounding credentials she’s already amassed throughout her experience. I think you get the point…Hayley is a true student of music turned master. The level of skill and imagination you’ll find on her new single “Being Alive” highlights the amazing talent that Lam has for both composition and performance – I loved every second of this adventure in sound.
Keep in mind, my father is a keyboardist…so…understand that a lot of what I hear in Hayley’s music does combine with somewhat of a nostalgia-factor for me personally – I grew up around sounds like these. Lam’s keyboard movements and selection of tones has an impressive amount of expression and creativity – and she’s made the right move by surrounding herself with some equally amazing musicians to make “Being Alive” sound absolutely vibrant and stunning to the ears through its every twist & turn. Solid & steady bass-tones from Akos Forgacs and the synths & keys from Lam complement each other innovatively as they create the rhythm & lead parts of the song’s melody. If there’s award to be handed out from Hayley to one of these fantastic players assisting her however, I think it’s gotta go to drummer Marko Djordjevic. This cat’s got astounding intuition on the drums and an incredible touch & feel for every hit & placement – and believe me, when you listen to the part he’s playing, it’s certainly no joke. This isn’t easy stuff to play by any stretch and all three of these players sound like they could do this all day long, every day…presumably, they are and they do. Definitely credit where credit is due – these players are fantastic – but let’s not forget, they’re adapting into the extraordinary textures, attitude and sound of the arrangement, writing and direction provided by Lam on “Being Alive.” She’s essentially organized a full-on group of superstar musicians; together they achieve the maximum impact that the writing of this track truly deserves. The production from Steve Hunt is immaculate! I’d definitely venture a guess that Steve was probably a drummer himself at one point…because he’s really got every hit and cymbal crash from Djordjevic sounding crystal clear and seriously stunning. He’s found the right balance between the three main players on Lam’s “Being Alive” – if you listen thoroughly, you’ll hear that each player certainly has their own time in the spotlight, but that the song’s star also remains the star. Hayley sounds adventurous, bold and confident in her lead parts, and she absolutely understands how to fill the background in with just enough to keep the melody & creativity flowing at all times.
Like I said…I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I sure am more than happy with what I found. Hayley Lam is a truly brilliant musician with vibrant ideas…you don’t need a list of degrees & diplomas to tell you that – it’s something you can easily hear. She’s clearly a tremendous talent and wildly intuitive when it comes to writing music that stands out for all the right reasons.
Interestingly enough, when you look at the official posting on Bandcamp for her new single, you’ll read that “Being Alive” is a ‘track reflecting on my life so far, coming out from a not so decent past to giving myself a second chance to life.’
Everything we’ve been through makes us who we are today; when I hear how strong, confident, creative and skilled Hayley Lam is…I have to admit…it makes me smile. She’s clearly doing exactly what she’s meant to do now, making ultra-expressive jazz-fusion and really letting out the most imaginative & unique parts of her personality into the music. She won’t need that second chance when she makes a first impression with this kind of lasting impact – Lam is a world-class talent with a very bright future.
Find out more about Hayley Lam at her official homepage: https://www.hayleylammusic.com/ and support her campaign raising funds towards her debut EP at gofundme here: https://www.gofundme.com/hayleylamEP