Hayley Thompson-King – Psychotic Melancholia

“Killer…Rock song of the summer.” – NYLON

“Few artists posses a duality quite like Hayley Thompson-King … equal parts Reverend Horton Heat and Nikki Lane.” – Wide Open Country

“An explosive display of vocal prowess.” – PopMatters

Hayley Thompson-King’s much anticipated debut solo album, Psychotic Melancholia, will be released September 1 on Hard To Kill Records. The former opera singer pulls from her passion for classical music (she has a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from New England Conservatory of Music), and her upbringing in a small Southern town, Sebastian, Florida. “I grew up riding and showing American Quarter Horses,” she says. “My dad was a team-roper and trained cutting horses. I spent alot of time in the dually listening to country music. And then I went to opera school.”

…and the result is a rich and complex psych-tinged garage-country record.

“Hayley Thompson-King comes out the gate swinging with Large Hall, Slow Decay” says The Americana Music Association of the opening track (a song she wrote as her former band, Banditas, broke up in the recording studio). “That was the song that started my journey to becoming a solo artist” she says.

The album touches on themes of love and heartache in the lush country tracks Dopesick and Old Flames (a cover of the Hugh Moffatt/Pebe Sebert tune), and Thompson-King’s childhood obsession with the so-called wicked women in the Bible in shreik-laced garagerock tracks Lot’s Wife and No Room For Jesus. But if there’s one unifying theme on Psychotic Melancholia, it’s the dismantling of false idols. In Teratoma Thompson-King sings about living up to a
phantom sibling: “False idol, I put you on my shelf // False idol, just hair and skin and nails // I’ll cut you out // I’ll cut you out of myself.”

The album closes with Wehmut; a re-interpretation of the song by Robert Schumann, for whom the album is named. (Schumann suffered from severe depression and was ultimately diagnosed with “psychotic melancholia.”) “I think all artists experience some sort of melancholy,” she says.

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