“I hate so see you go, but I love to watch you walk away.” It’s really disappointing that these are the first few words you hear on Hayley Thompson-King’s debut, because the album is much, much smarter than that. The opening track itself, “Large Hall, Small Decay,” is in fact much smarter than that. But perhaps it’s on purpose: Start an album by an actress with a cliche, lure people in, and then smash them over the head. The song itself says, “I never asked you to set me free.” Right. Because this is a woman capable of doing everything herself.
Pyschotic Melancholia seamlessly blends straightforward country music with tinges of classical and an operatic voice. “Dopesick,” is a powerful mourning, with intense wailing vocals and a range I haven’t heard in pop music since Pat Benetar.
“No Room for Jesus” is hard, psychedelic rock, complete with vocal distortion (and it almost feels like a sin to alter a voice as beautiful as Thompson’King’s). “Soul Kisser” is slow and romantic. Teratoma is love song that feels like a protest anthem, a powerful rocker meant for large halls and stadiums. “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” is a traditional country balled, in the vein of Patsy Cline.
There’s no way to be bored by this record.