••• 21 AND OVER
$12 in advance / $15 at the door
Noise Pop Festival 2019 presents...
(Album release show)
Indie Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue
Alternative, Folk, Pop
-from San Francisco, CA
-Cathartic. If Travis Hayes’ second album had to be summed up in one word, cathartic would be it. The San Francisco singer-songwriter established his emotive, unpretentious approach to songwriting with his 2014 debut full-length, Young Daze, but a period of personal trials and tribulations has since pushed him to new creative heights. If Young Daze captured the wistful optimism and possibility of youth, Sleepless is the sound of finding the strength to stand up after life has slammed you into the concrete one too many times.
This 10-tracker was always going to be a departure. In the last four years, Hayes has grown exponentially as an artist, receiving critical acclaim for both Young Daze (The Deli Magazine called it “fresh” and “modern”) and 2015’s Love Songs EP, featuring ex-Tsunami Bomb vocalist, Emily Whitehurst. (SF Weekly dubbed the record “heartfelt,” while Infectious Magazine called it “an indulgent, beautifully crafted EP.”)
Meanwhile, Hayes threw himself into touring and performing all over the country - both solo and with his carefully curated band. He made waves at festivals including SXSW, Noise Pop, Off Beat, Phono del Sol and Ocean Beach Music & Arts. In between, Hayes shared stages with the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff, Langhorne Slim, and The Record Company. In 2016, he beat his own record for number of shows played in a month (26), and, in 2017, he covered over 15,000 miles on tour. While his songwriting and structure now reflects the kind of maturity and depth that comes with hard-won experience and commitment to craft, the story of Sleepless really begins with tragedy.
“Two years ago, I had the wind knocked out of me,” Hayes explains. “One of my closest friends was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Her light passed on, all went dark, and I was left lying awake at night, sleepless and unable to make sense of anything. I didn’t know what to do or how to cope — so I wrote. I wrote, and I wrote, until I had exhausted all the fear, frustration and anger from my mind.”
This heart-wrenching collection then, truly encompasses what it is to be alive: the depth and joy of love, the agony of loss, the terror of embracing hurt, and the ultimate release of healing. Sleepless is the sound of shedding one scarred and fractured skin, in order to crawl into another, stronger one. For all its sadness, Sleepless is ultimately marked by a deep sense of hope; the will and desire to keep moving forward, even in the shadow of grief. The Bay Bridged has already noted that this creative process has transformed Hayes “from lone troubadour to swaggering bandleader.”
“Songwriting has always been this cathartic escape for me,” Hayes says, “but writing these songs was different. These songs gave me a place to be vulnerable, a place to be angry, a place to find hope. This album gave me a place to find my strength again. What started out as a laundry list of scary things that kept me up at night, became a collection of songs that detail the reasons that get me through each day. In the end,” he concludes, “they were more than just songs. They saved my life.”.