Hailey Tuck is an exciting, quirky and rising Texan jazz singer who is now based in Paris. She is currently travelling the world promoting her music and has recently released her debut album Junk to rave reviews. So we caught up with her to discuss the LP, her plans for this year and more.
Growing up who inspired your love of music?
Hailey: Both of my parents love music. My Mom used to takeaway all the living room furniture and dance with me to Sade and Al Jarreau and Earth Wind And Fire. My Dad gave me Cat Stevens’ Matthew And Son, Carol King’s Tapestry, and Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds for my 8th birthday.
You’ve recently spent time in the UK, how did you enjoy your time here?
Hailey: My album is out!! On vinyl like a real jazz singer! I’m enjoying every second. I want to go to this bar called Ashebee’s, but really everyone calls it Elizabeth’s bar and this maybe 70 something polish lady has run it since the beginning of time, and she looks like the madame of a bordello with big hair and bright blue eyeshadow and serves special Honey Wine. Her walls are full of the postcards people send her from all around the world, I keep forgetting to send her one.
You recently released a reworking of the Kinks’ ‘Alcohol’ – what made you want to record a version of that track?
Hailey: I mean, raise your hand if you’ve ever made a sketchy decision on alcohol. Be it just having word-vomit regret the next morning about something you said, or didn’t say or getting coyote ugly wasted at a bar and going home with an art teacher who asks you to walk his dog the next day. It’s an intoxicating potion that makes you think you are funnier, prettier, smarter, and a much better dancer, but also a very dangerous one that can really yank you off of your high horse.
The song is featured on your debut album ‘Junk’ – what can fans expect from the record?
Hailey: Well, we started with the concept of Weimar Berlin, which scared me a bit as I’ve had to work a bit to be set apart from a knee-jerk association of any jazz singer automatically being cabaret, and of course my haircut doesn’t help that. I’ve been through a lot for my (relatively) short life, and we ended up talking a lot about the similarly short childhood of people in the Weimar era. As we kept exchanging songs and ideas though, a more clear pattern emerged that all of these songs about struggle, addiction, sex, consumerism, etc. had the common theme of the emotional baggage that everyone has from one thing or another, and the junk that we carry, whatever that may mean to you.
How would you describe the overall sound of your LP?
Hailey: Both Larry and I have a tendency towards the melancholy side of music, and so we both really supported each other on making sure the album didn’t descend too much into the dark side, or self pity, but through a more poetic lens. Also from a more technical aspect I loved introducing guitar into my life! I’ve never arranged anything with guitar, but have always loved singing with it, and clearly Dean Parks is an excellent first date. It’s been a kind of fuller sound, more tinkling, bell sound than I’ve had before that I think really fits.
What was it like working with Larry Klein?
Hailey: Like a dream. Larry makes you feel so great, and special even when you’re tired, and really actually not very special, in fact you’ve been singing the same part wrong for 10 takes, but he somehow makes you excited again to, “Do it one more time! You can do it! That was amazing!” If Larry was in charge of me all the time I think I could be president.
You’re releasing new music this year, what else can we expect from you over the course of 2018?
Hailey: I want to go to one really completely crazy fancy dinner, with champagne and oysters, and hopefully someone who actually knows a lot about champagne and oysters to order for me.
Interview by Laura Klonowski.
Featured Images by Rocky Schenck.