When he plays his cards right, and he does so with consistency, Jonny Hayes could happily pass comfortably among the likes of his established indie-folk contemporaries.
His is a subtle, nostalgia-soaked exploration of the indie genre. After fine-lined acoustic debut EP Memories which dropped late last year, he’s moving forward toward the release of a solo acoustic body of work, whose first thrust of momentum comes in the form of “Bathe”.
Hayes only taught himself guitar in 2018 but here he is, spinning gossamer-fine indie melodies with polished confidence. He’s also a photographer by trade, hence the equally polished visuals he’s just dropped alongside the dreamy poeticism of the single.
Where the track is subtle and richly contemplative, the video is forthright and colour-soaked. Following a pair of lovers on a camping trip through forest and lakeside wilderness, it’s as much a visual love song as it is an advert for just getting out in nature. In fact I’m pretty sure he could pitch it to Cape Union Mart and they’d jump on it.
Haye’s slips up here and there though – warm honeyed vocals crack on occasion, a clumsy visual edit interrupts the burnished chronology of lovers in the wild. But for a kid so fresh in the game, everything about this release is impressive. It’s clean-cut, clarified and poignant enough to set him apart.