Goodbye To The Valley Low is the new six track EP from Australian born, but now Sweden based, folk singer Hazlett – or Mitchell Hazlett Lewis to give him his full name. Following the successful release of his debut album Bloom Mountain early this year, the Aussie isn’t sitting back, but has quickly returned to writing folk music.
The haunting acoustic tracks on the EP are fairly simple musically, recorded in a cabin in rural Sweden, and have a relaxed and melodic feel. The vocals are high and tender, backed by guitar and the occasional touch of pedal steel.
Blame the Moon is a lovely opener, telling of grand plans that didn’t work out. There’s honest reflection and a lovely sonic scope to the track, which feels almost spacy. On a similar theme, Missionary Feelings gives an impression of begrudging acceptance: there is resolution but also some resentment that things haven’t quite worked out as planned. The vocal performance here is very good, with a final flourish as Hazlett effortlessly hits the high notes.
Mama’s Boy and Slow Running are both meditative and deep, their smooth sounds leaving a warm feel. Cemetery reflects on childhood in a gentle way, the slight reverb on the vocal giving an old time air. In contrast the closing Stolen Seasons, which also takes a nostalgic theme, ends with a more upbeat vibe and a slightly faster pace.
Hazlett has an expressive voice that suits his melodic and reflective music well. The six tracks here perhaps need a few listens to appreciate their skilful composition, but if you like tender and thoughtful folk music it is well worth investing some time in Hazlett.
Release date: 8 December 2023