Vanessa Hayes is a singer, songwriter and musician making her solo debut after spending the last few years collaborating with artists around the world. A Massachusetts native, Vanessa and her twin sister Leah have traveled from New York to Paris, making music. She has toured with the band Scary Mansion and fronted the group Little Horns. While in Paris she even worked with Swedish/French Indie queen (and friend of The Static Dive) Lisa Li-Lund.
“Ghost” is the debut single from Vanessa Hayes, with a brand new video released worldwide to YouTube on October 31, 2021. The song is a dreamy bit of chilled out Synthwave. A retro-synth bass arpeggio and a driving, downtempo drum machine beat opens the track. As that mellow groove marches forward, ambient synths expand the horizon. Vanessa enters the mix with layers of dreamy vocal harmonies to create a gorgeous and hypnagogic soundscape. An ethereal guitar and minimalist percussion paint the periphery as the singer riffs on the lyrical theme, “don’t look at me, I’m a ghost.”
The song’s video features the singer floating through psychedelic scenes and dancing in solitude. It is a beautiful visual to match this hypnotic track. Check it out below. You can also hear “Ghost” on both the Deep Indie Dive and Deep Indie Chill playlists. We had the chance to chat with Vanessa Hayes about the song, the video and life. Check out her answers to our 8 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist. Get on her website and socials and stay in the loop on all of the music to come from this talented artist.
8 Questions with Vanessa Hayes
Where are you from?
I’m from Massachusetts, but spent many years living and playing music in NYC. I also lived in Paris, which is where I originally began collaborating with some of my favorite musician friends.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember, but I started playing shows in college, sometimes solo and sometimes with my twin sister. Later I toured Europe with my sister’s band, Scary Mansion, and eventually fronted a band with her called Little Horns, while we were both living in NYC.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
This current album is my first solo project in a long time, in the sense that I wrote the music and perform all the songs myself. But I couldn’t do any of it without my sister (Leah Hayes), who produced all the tracks and who’s vision helped bring them to life.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My earliest influences were mostly genre-shattering female solo artists, like Sinead O’Connor, Liz Phair, and Cat Power. Then I was an indie-rock/grunge junkie for years. Later my biggest influences were my friends; we started playing with Herman Dune and Lisa Li-Lund in Paris many years ago, then had our first shows at the Sidewalk Cafe in NYC with the anti-folk crowd, like Jeffrey Lewis, Sharon Van Etten, and The Moldy Peaches. But over the past decade I’ve gravitated more towards pop music, and now my biggest influences are electronic acts with big sound like Polica, Robyn and Active Child.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
What inspired you to create this project?
The songs (on the forthcoming EP) are ones that I’ve written over the years acoustically, but never translated to all electronic production. As I’ve moved away from singer-songwriter indie vibes to a more beat-heavy sound, I’ve always had the intention to produce some of my earlier tracks (which I originally wrote on guitar) as darker-sounding electronic music.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I plan on releasing an EP later this spring, and then hopefully a full-length album. I would love to keep collaborating with my sister as producer, and writing toplines for my musician friends whenever I can.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Just that I’m so lucky to have been surrounded by amazing musicians my whole life.