Hazlett has today released his new EP titled ‘Goodbye to the Valley Low’ as well as the new video for the track titled ‘Stolen Seasons’. A sweet sound of reassurance and home coupled with the solemn sounds of solace is that initial take on this first listen, but there is a lot more there, under the hood, so to speak.
Hazlett has an overall sound that speaks diversity in the lyrics and rounded orchestration in the notes. This is a set of tracks to get lost in. Forget the day you had and feel a peace about the next day. Each song has a personal touch, away from the assembly line hitmakers of the mainstream, this is ‘yourstream’. Your reflection in the cool clear water.
Following the release of his debut album, out earlier this year and fresh off the back of a hugely successful UK/EU tour with Wild Rivers and Josiah & The Bonnevilles, the Australian-born, Sweden-based Hazlett returns with Goodbye to the Valley Low – a stunning six-track EP of delicate indie-folk brimming with personal anecdotes and showcasing the polished introspective song writing that’s already won him an army of fans.
Produced by long-time collaborator Freddy Alexander, the EP was made in an off-grid cabin on the west coast of Sweden and sees Hazlett going back to his roots with a more stripped-back and rawer sound. The EP opens with the ethereal “Blame The Moon,” a sonic reflection to grand plans that were never fulfilled before the acoustically-driven “Missionary Feelings” dances around feelings of dissatisfaction and longing, with Hazlett’s plaintive falsetto reaching its peak in its climaxed final chorus. Vulnerability takes canter stage in “Mama’s Boy” with eye-opening lyricism to dissect how “even the kind ones can break your heart,” and a beautiful dreamlike video filmed in the Swedish country side.
“Slow Running” is an exciting addition to Hazlett’s already stellar catalogue, a serene soundscape that seamlessly blends feather-light guitars with Hazlett’s harmonious vocals to deliver a soothing slice of ambient folk. The understated “Cemetery” takes Hazlett back to his childhood; a bright-eyed kid whose universe was filled with unimaginable dreams. The atmospheric surroundings follow his timeless tone as he longs to find that feeling again, fading smoothly into the EP’s echoing finale “Stolen Seasons.” Here he emphasises “Everything happens for a reason. But in the heat of some moments, it’s hard to not just throw your hands up in the air and shake a fist at the sky.”
Indie songwriter Hazlett was born and raised in Australia but if the past few years are anything to go by, he’s very much bloomed in Sweden. An old friend, one big break-up and playing Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ three times a night was the unplanned cocktail of moments that saw him throw adulthood to the wayside and venture to the other side of the world.
A pocket full of nerves and a tangled mess of memories became the start of Hazlett’s unique brand of “Indie Ballroom Folk”. But everything crystallized one summer in Stockholm after finding the fabled collaborator chemistry in now close friend Freddy Alexander. A lot has changed since then and what started as a way for him to “figure out some things in his head…” has now become a whole world of music and beautiful details to move through. Emphasized by the release of his debut album Bloom Mountain in early 2023.
His propensity for figuring things out himself and turning chaos into some kind of nostalgic lesson hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with The Line of Best Fit noting that “Hazlett is offering up a hazy, textured version of the classic singer-songwriter sound.” Praise also comes from the likes of Americana UK, NME, Atwood Magazine and CLASH, who called Hazlett “A potent songwriting voice.”
Even though the nerves never quite go away, there’s this newfound quiet confidence to the troubadour from down under. You may not have met, but sometimes when you’re listening to Hazlett he feels like the only friend you’ve ever had.
Featured image by Photos by Brown Eyed Girl.