Haley Cole’s magnetism on stage and her ability to hold an audience spellbound is the natural harvest of years spent singing spirituals with her family at church gatherings and small revivals surrounding her tiny hometown of Birch Creek, Texas. There she witnessed the magic that moves in music and felt its healing power for the first time. .
She explains “We were in a bubble until my parents divorced, and that was when I started playing guitar and writing my own songs... songs for me were a way to work through a really, really tough time. It was a way of figuring things out on my own... and learning from that experience.”
As she progressed as a writer, her song-craft was met with praise and found expression in diverse forms that revealed Haley’s broadening musical palette, her departure from home for independence in Bryan-College Station quickly found her immersed in a plodding existence that was depleting her creative energies and leading her away from her inspiration.
She recalls that time saying “I knew really early on in life [what I wanted to do] but I didn’t listen to it until I was in a really rough spot where I was completely unhappy. I was in school for something that I didn’t love; I was in a nine to five job that I didn’t love. I was just doing what other people told me to do but I realized it was not where I was meant to be.”
And seemingly the universe rewarded her decision with a sudden rush of material, she explains “When I moved to San Marcos that’s when I felt in tune with everything, and that’s when I wrote all the songs that are on the new album.”
Her new record, Illusions, set for release in January 2015 and produced by former Sons of Fathers fireball David Beck, is a panorama of tonal color every bit as lush and beguiling as the Texas Hill Country that she now calls home and illustrates Haley’s fearless approach to composition. “The thread running through all of these songs is me. I listen to everything and when I sit down to write I don’t limit myself in any way.”
Haley’s trust for the organic nature of the creative process is on display throughout Illusions; from sequencing the album in the order the songs were written to allowing the tracks to take their own shape in production to recording them live, often in a single take.
With her eyes seemingly set upon some faraway place she says regarding Illusions, “The reason I’m excited about these songs is because I feel like I was able to touch upon everything I wanted to and they’re all intertwined. They all have their own life and their own reason for being. I hope they move people the way they’ve moved me, that’s my ultimate goal with this album and everything I play.”