Cute, yet still melancholic

Album Title: 
Lure The Fox
Band Name: 
Haley Bonar
Release Year: 

There is something about South Dakota that seems to drive people into severe sadness. If you have listened to any Kid Dakota records, you may know what I am talking about. Haley does have a way of making the melancholy cute however (a glance inside the album jacket shows her grinning a bright smile with a cheerfully green windbreaker on).

She plays a style of music that i really feel comfortable listening to. I may say that the overall feel is down, but that does not mean that there is no pep on this record. The guitar tones and the rich organ notes, along with the style of singing all have a watery sadness in them, but the overall tone keeps itself floating above suicide level. The arrangements are a nice pairing of sparce, simple drums, very lovely vocal stylings, nicely distorted electric guitars, and full sounding acoustics. Everything just sounds beautiful. It is strange how sadness in music can carry so much beauty in it. Maybe I just like being depressed, but I will stand by this statement: “the most beautiful music is music that has come from pain and sadness.”

This record is a great work of simplicity. The orchestration is not overly complex, there are no shiny extras to show off whatever gear the band and engineers has laying around, just simple, lovely music. (simple, lovely music shows off the gear and talent the bands and engineers have too... perhaps in a better way) I was having a discussion about this recently actually - my point was about simplicity making beautiful art, and that being a master in art or design is often more about knowing when to leave things blank rather than filling them in, and my friend made a similar analogy in music. To me this record speaks to that truth.

I really love it, and part of what I love is the basic and emotive approach that it takes to delivering the music. There is nothing to get between you and the songs. Each song creates a nice build without becoming redundant. The vocal harmonies and buttery organ parts are there to add to the delivery. Oh, and she has the ability to write pleasant and non-cliched song lyrics which flow nicely. Haley creates some beautiful imagery.

My favorite tracks off this record are probably Us and Give It Up. Visit the Haley Bonar website at and see what all my hype is about.

Sidenote: My girlfriend Nancy went to high school with Haley, and there is a picture of her singing a Fountains Of Wayne song in one of the year books. Just note in your brains that you can even turn into a despondant twenty-something by listening to jangly pop music.