LIVE REVIEW: Hayes Peebles at Rockwood Music Hall

Hayes Peebles packed Rockwood Music Hall February 23, where he soothed listeners with his charming vocals and calming aura. Backed by a full band, Peebles showcased his newly released EP Ghosts, and with it, the New York-based singer/songwriter also delivered a much-needed tranquility to the city.

The night was filled with swooning and swaying to Peebles’ laid-back folk music. Peebles has a sound that borders on country in certain songs, with backup “ooh’s” and “aah’s” that could easily be replaced with a “yeehaw.” It’s as Americana as it gets, down to the blue jeans and flannel that Peebles sported onstage.

Peebles creates music that does a remarkable job of dredging up old memories, recalling the feeling of falling in love with someone new, a first heartbreak, a life-changing loss. His tracks are emotional and packed with passion, particularly “Eulogy,” from his new EP. Down-tempo with emotional builds, the cyclical nature of the song perfectly exemplifies the ups and down one goes through after suffering a heart-wrenching loss—one day it feels like everything is getting back to normal only to get hit by the next day, which is full of crushing despair.

He also made his way through other EP singles, “Home,” “Short and Sweet,” and the titular track. “Ghosts” brings it back to simpler times; it’s nostalgic and idyllic, a track made for lingering in the past. To Peebles, the ghosts we know are not always departed loved ones who haunt us, but do live on as the spirits of our memories.

Hayes Peebles’ music will make you yearn for your childhood home, friends, and experiences again. It’s the perfect music to listen to on a chilly fall afternoon—or a warm almost-spring night, packed alongside a bunch of strangers lost in their own memories.

Listen to the Ghosts EP below:

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