Hail To The Hails (And Their New EP)

Hail To The Hails (And Their New EP)

Gainesville's local band starts to grow after releasing an astounding EP.

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 “I believe we’re a blend of all types of rock and roll, but we aren’t outdated,” Kingsley describes.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.

Cover Image Credit: Josh Churba

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A Poem To Art Saving Us

Art is what you need it to be.

“Youth is wasted on the young”, I know, and I am trying. So desperately to ensure that my odyssey is a chest of memories that will never diminish.

I find myself staring at the bottom of empty coffee mugs, caught between the backwash of coffee tainted oxygen molecules and morning delays. These cells are nothing but pixilated facades.

Nietzsche says that art does not need to be truth, but isn’t that what it is all about? Is that not what makes it so raw? Making the intangible, tangible? But the only thing true of art is that art saves us. And if that means that what art is made of is not truth; that art is the outcome of a survival mechanism to compose and convince ourselves to feel something so that we do not fall into the black hole of nihilism then so be it.

Because I won’t know any other way. All I know is that I am breathing and thinking and just being.

It is kind of ironic that we depend on each other’s defense mechanisms to live, to prove that our existence isn’t just some fucked evolutionary step. We are so desperate and so in need to find ourselves, to understand that we need to be here that we also begin to see ourselves in the art works. In the brush strokes of Van Gough; in the not so irregular and not so misplaced lines of Picasso’s works. This is both comforting and scary.

Some days it is hard to differentiate yourself from all the art that is surrounding you and I; sorting through all the pieces that are spread along the sunrises, book stores or through the numb vibrations of the rain. Art does not have to be true, but it does have to be a series of releases.

We spend our whole lives breathing in and attacking notes, but we always forget that we can breathe. That in our composition of life we can add our own breath marks. It is okay to release. To breathe in and to stop your tune when needed.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The 7 Best Pieces of Drag Race Lingo Ru-vealed

Werk it, queen!

Season Three of "RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars" just wrapped last week, but season 10 of Drag Race is scheduled to premiere on March 22nd. You might’ve turned on your TV and thought, “what the heck are they talking about?”. Some of the lingo is confusing and unclear, so here’s a guide to just some of the key catchphrases.

1. The library/Being read

The name of the mini challenge is “Reading is Fundamental, in which queens take turns reading each other. When it’s their turn, they “enter the library”, which just means putting on goofy glasses. Reading is pretty much pointing out flaws but in a funny or over the top way.

2. Shade

Throwing shade is similar to reading someone, but I think of shade as usually more blunt, insulting and less clever.

3. Tea

Derives from the letter “T” standing for truth. Tea refers to gossip, news or information. Commonly used in the sense of “So, what’s the tea?”, which means “girl, what’s the gossip?”. It’s commonly combined with shade, as someone might say “No, tea, no shade, but…” which is a preface saying “no disrespect”. Conversely, someone might say “all tea, all shade” meaning that they know exactly how they sound and don’t care if you’re offended.

4. Fish

A queen is said to be looking fishy/serving fish when they closely resemble a woman. Some of the fishiest queens include Tatianna, Courtney Act, and Farrah Moan.

5. Back Rolls

An insult used in season 5 when Jade Jolie told Alyssa Edwards: “Girl, you had rolls all over the place in the back, it was disgusting!” To which Alyssa responded

6. Snatch Game

A parody of the 1960’s celebrity game show “The Match Game”. On the original show, contestants write in answers to questions, hoping to match the guest judge. Snatch Game operates in the same way, but the contestants have to impersonate a celebrity. This is a challenge that has taken place every season since the second one, and it’s probably the most highly anticipated. This is one of the challenges that really establishes the top queens, as they’re judged based off of likeness and humor. Celebrities that have been impersonated range from Dame Maggie Smith to Britney Spears, Judge Judy, Anna Nicole Smith, and even RuPaul.

7. Comedy vs. Pageant Queens

This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Some queens are more specialized in makeup, costumes, and overall pageantry. Others are more campy and over the top. Comedy queens are usually stronger in acting or comedy challenges, but pageant queens have the upper hand in design focused challenges.

So there ya have it, a short list of Drag Race terminology. I RuPaulogize if you got a little lost somewhere, but if you managed to make it through this article….


Cover Image Credit: Daniel Dudek-Corrigan

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