Album Review: Steve Haley’s Heat Vision

It’s earthy, bright, and present. Best of all, it’s friendly. A nice listen.

Flipping on Steve Haley’s Heat Vision is a great decision for any of those days you want to put those feet up and kick back. It borrows the best of 90s indie and classic guitar rock and melds into a welcome little reprieve from any and all stresses of an average day.

It’s jammy but structured, concise yet free, and it’s a great little listen. Steve Haley isn’t really
a local any more. Now based out of Sackville, New Brunswick, he’s continued on a musical
path that once blessed St. John’s with acts like the Human Soundtrack. He’s probably best
known from the transient indie folkers Banded Stilts, and has been a Lawnya Vawnya guest
numerous times over.

Making a name for himself on both the local stage and beyond, he’s been a consistent beacon of quality songwriting for years wherever he’s located.

Heat Vision is no different; but it is a little different. It has a lot of character. These songs
have been borne with a certain rusted elegance. The production really manages to
capture a warm, honest sound. It’s not replete with bells and whistles. It’s earthy, bright,
and present. Best of all, it’s friendly. A nice listen.

In between weird and wonderful lyrics, it leans towards a variety of tonal inclinations. It
has the oddity charm of Blind Melon or Built to Spill. The supreme maritime slackerdom
of Sloan and weight of Wintersleep. But the best part is how Haley falls into a Neil Young
lamenting croon over some of the album’s best moments.

It has just enough of that dad rock vibe to help it rise from the indie rock trenches, and it’s really where the album takes hold. There’s a couple of examples of this: “Bowling Lanes,” an early jam, is classic and novel in all the right ways. “

They’re Coming For Me Tonight While I Sleep” closes out the album with a guitar/vocal conversation and soaring notes. It’s a lovely little showcase that shows the extension of that Newfoundland creative spirit. Put it on and chill. Or drive. Or whatever. You’ll like it, I promise.

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