In a brand new release that holds a very personal space in the artist’s heart, Hayley Reardon finds herself “Awake in Berlin,” trying to let go of an old love and old life to forge her way forward while halfway across the world. Sharing that she “didn’t play this song for a long time because of how personal it felt” and that she “cried like a baby when [they] cut the final vocal,” Hayley treats listeners to a touching acoustic track, alongside a music video produced by Aymée Hamon, which serves as her first single off her upcoming EP.
Hayley Reardon has an innate gift for capturing the essence of people and personal history through song. At the age of 23, the young storyteller has been honing her craft for a full decade now, sharing the stage along the way with acts like Lori McKenna, Rodney Crowell, and Anais Mitchell, among others. She has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe and has released four recorded works to date. Her raw artistry boasts a lyrical and melodic weight far beyond her years, being described as “brilliantly moving folk/pop with a lyrical depth and soul” by Performer Magazine and “a melancholy little masterpiece” by American Songwriter Magazine. In 2019, she was honored by the city of Dachau, Germany, with the Ruckteschell-Villa Scholarship, an artist residency program providing recipients with the opportunity to live rent-free for 6 months in a renovated historic building to work on a creative project of their choosing. She began her residency program in the spring of 2021 and intends to engage with the community by conducting a series of recorded interviews with locals from which she will draw inspiration for her writing.
“Awake in Berlin” is as bittersweet as one can expect from the subject matter. As we follow Hayley on a dawn stroll in the music video, she walks down memory lane and we hear the parallels in the lyrics of what used to be and what the present is. Soft guitar strums back her honey-like vocals, filled with sadness, heartbreak, and confusion. Quiet and reluctant reasoning is evident during the bridge as Hayley reconciles her inability to put her feelings into words. As a red sun breaks between the horizon and the cool blue overhang of clouds, the soundscape takes on an almost elevated sound, drawing the song to a close on what might be interpreted as an acceptance of what has passed to look forward to what is to come.