November 11, 2002

Halley "Forget the Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us"

Wowie. Who knew that one of this year's records of the year would come this late in the game, would slip in so quietly, and would be utterly mindblowing? I sure didn't expect it. There are twelve brilliant moments on this album--they're the ones with song titles. See, Austin, Texas' Halley have mixed in some awesome influences-from Grandaddy to Mercury Rev to Slowdive to Godspeed You Black Emperor! to absolutely none of the above and have created a record that is truly their own sound. You've heard the sounds on Forget The Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us before--but then again, you haven't. Their music is very lush and soothing and pastoral and calming and atmospheric and soft and beautiful---and that's just during the loud parts!

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about Halley, but I think I'll tell you a little secret. I'll let you know the exact moment I fell in love with them. It's on the last song, the epic "Kites are Slow Downers." At exactly 7 minutes and 59 seconds into the song, after a loud buildup of guitar, drum, keyboards, trumpets, brass, and strings--the choir comes in, and you're ascending in to heaven. The song is an epic, heavenly, sonic recreation of the final battle of good vs. evil. As you listen, the battle has just taken place, and at that particular moment, you know who's just won, and the fight and conflict is over, the choir declared the winner, and the song fades into silence. After thirty seconds of quiet, you hear the conquering army returning to a heavenly home in the sky, and the orchestra plays the fanfare of the victorious conquerors, and heaven shines.

Forget The Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us is a record that simply demands to be heard. I DEMAND that it be heard. And, I'm telling you, my friends, Halley--who know that spending TIME on your music means that your record will SOUND GOOD--are a band that aren't worth watching...they're a band worth EXPERIENCING. I could bust out with 5037 words for each song, but I'm not going to do so, because I wouldn't feel comfortable being so brief and dismissive of their music. Words really do fail, my friend--Halley are a band that you must hear to fully comprehend. You really should listen to Forget The Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us--and then you should listen to it again. And again. Listen with your ears, and let your soul hear it. You'll be glad you did.

---Joseph Kyle

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