It’s nearly midnight on a Thursday when I discover The Hails, a band bred out of Gainesville, Florida. The band’s five members - Robbie Kingsley (on vocals), Zach Levy (on drums), Andre Escobar (on bass), Dylan McCue (on guitar) and Franco Solari (also on guitar) - have created a sound that captivated me instantly. They are a band that has been together for about two years but recently released an EP, Impel. Impel, as described by Levy, is “a great introduction on what’s to come for The Hails.” I couldn’t agree more.
As a band, The Hails don't subscribe to any one genre of music. Instead, they are a band that settles snugly into the alternative music scene and into the rock and roll scene, while still also cleverly borrowing some elements from new age funk. The diversity in their music certainly is fresh and unique, unakin to anything else I have ever heard. “I believe we’re a blend of all types of rock and roll, but we aren’t outdated,” Kingsley describes. “I think it’s a modern sound.”
This is evident in their five track EP - which consists of “Bronco”, “Parking Lot”, “Come Alive”, “A Girl With a Fated Hand”, and “Find Myself” - and how it contains a variety of tones. “I believe each song is so different and showcases that we are not a one-dimensional band,” Levy said. When I was listening to their songs, I completely understood what he said; some of their songs, like “Bronco” and “Find Myself”, contain an amorous and lustrous beat that is only magnified by Kingsley’s vocals.
Some of the others, like “Parking Lot” and “A Girl With a Fated Hand”, are fun, casual, and very feel-good tunes. This subtle but sincere mix was crafted with much in mind, including the band’s listeners. “I think we have a sound that fits any listener,” Levy added. “The music we’ve created is timeless and authentic.”
Within the first second, the band’s authenticity and passion echoed in their sound. Robbie’s infectious vocals portray just how deep their admiration for music is, and when combined with Levy, Escobar, McCue, and Solari, the fervor is certainly undeniable.
Their deep and intimate relationship as a band and as friends is also a vigorous feature that resonates in their music. “As far as the band goes, we couldn’t be tighter. Without even one of the members, it’s just not the same,” Kinsley said. “We can get at each other’s throats, but that’s why we have a tight bond. We push each other every day."
Of course, the ingenious mesh of style and ardor that is transparent in The Hails’ music does not distract from the lyrics; rather, it only emphasizes the unique undertone that is in their words. The lyrics possess the ability to provoke profound and strong emotions; the lyrics are also deeply inquisitive and require a sense of appreciation in order to comprehend their complex messages. One of my favorite quotes from their EP (specifically, from the song "Find Myself") is: “Hid a light to help the thieves crawl out and escape your weather-burdened home in the tidal zone.”
Currently, The Hails have taken a trip down south to Miami, Florida - a city that caters to the needs of bands like The Hails - in order to expand their audience and experience. They have had several performances, including their performance of "Parking Lot" on NBC's 6 in the Mix, and continue to hold shows. With all their talent and enthusiasm, I have no doubt that The Hails will continue to thrive and become a band that more than just the locals rave about.