The uncertainties of life make it an inevitable fact that time is of the essence. Sometimes the only way to fight against the pressures of time is to simply take the clocks off the wall, which is exactly what Australian indie rock band, Hailer, did to produce the sonic undertones, pulsing rhythms, and haunting melodies on Another Way. “It gave us the freedom to ‘take the clocks off the walls’ and take our time experimenting and deconstructing all the songs,” vocalist and guitarist Phil Orr said.
Given greater freedoms than with their 2010 debut, Good Canyon, they recorded the new album at guitarist Pete Beringer’s own studio, Audile Design in Sydney, Australia. “We’ve never really set out to sound like the latest fashionable genre of music or to consciously change our sound to fit an existing concept. This has probably been to our detriment in terms of gathering ‘easy fans’ who already subscribe to a particular style of music, but it’s also allowed us to stay honest and just play what and however we feel,” Orr said.
Hailer’s four members, including bassist Gus McDonald, guitarist Pete Beringer and drummer Scott Spence, grew exponentially in the last two years. While the bare bones psychedelic rock sound on the previous album is still apparent, some serious departures were made. From the paranoid and dark “Spooky Clams,” to the acoustic sentimentality of “Bright Lights,” the joyous and upbeat“Anyway I Can” and the raw power of “Blue Star” and “Postcard.” The mood of the record shifts with songs taking on multiple personalities fused together by atmospheric motifs.
After recording the album Beringer suffered a broken shoulder. At a loss as to how to complete the album, the band contacted Nick Stumpf (French Kicks, Caveman), who ultimately mixed Another Way. “We wanted someone completely removed from the recording of the album to do the mixing … Nick has added a certain tonality to our album that we think really takes what we recorded up another sonic level.”
Making art for art’s sake worked in Hailer’s case. It’s all about the music and they even like to consider themselves slightly removed from the industry at large. As a bulk of the industry is comprised of publicists, managers, publishers and venue owners, Orr says, “the hardest thing is relating to people who have a different agenda to you – a different reason for being there.”
Hailer takes this kind of philosophy to heart. Carefree and proudly independent, the band strives to provide their fans with music unadulterated by the industry. Hailer is just as honest in their music as they are in their daily lives. From discussions about driving with hangovers in their beloved touring van, Akebono, to their disregard of the consumerism present amongst their peers, nothing seems off limits.
Though in the past they’ve shared the stage with The Jezabels and We All Want To, they will tour the United States for the first time in September to promote their album where they’ve already received college radio airplay at 110 stations in the United States.
Praise for Hailer
“Although the band does cite minor influences from classic bands in the same league such as The Beatles, Angus’ personal inspirations, like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Dirty Three, ooze from some tracks on Another Way.”
-Black Night Crash
“What makes Another Way so impressive is both its variety and its arrangement; these elements shed light on what a damn fine bunch of musicians Hailer are.”
-Justine Keating – The Music
“‘Spooky Clams’ breathes to life in less than 30 seconds, its thickly reverberating guitar matching colorful vocals that alternate between entranced crooning and ferocious spoken-word, the latter comparable to The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and his tendency for ravenous climaxes. ”
-Mike Mineo – Obscure Sound