With slick melodies and a solemn grace, “Second Chances,” a new single from Travis Hayes, is a thought for better times and a mood driven tune. The song brings imagery of a campfire, spending the time under the stars gazing and what could come. This tune is being premiered exclusively via New Noise Magazine today, and can be heard below. The song is off of the upcoming release, Sleepless, out on March 1st.
“I wrote ‘Second Chances’ for a good friend who had been going through a particularly rough year. Well, he was dying. His liver was failing and he needed a transplant. It would be his second liver transplant (he had a rare genetic disease that targets the liver). He was constantly in and out of the hospital and no one really knew if he’d get the transplant in time or if it would take.
After a very long year, he made it onto the transplant list and received a new liver. He pulled through with flying colors, and in the years since, he’s started a family. We nicknamed him ‘Second Chance’ after his dramatic comeback.
This song is dedicated to anyone dealt a bad hand. It’s a tribute to those who persevere– sometimes against impossible odds– to make it through to the other side.” – Travis Hayes
Travis Hayes’ sophomore LP, Sleepless, encompasses many a restless nights where the San Francisco singer-songwriter found himself grieving until all hours of the night. “Two years ago, I had the wind knocked out of me,” Hayes explains. “One of my closest friends was hit and killed by a drunk driver.” Hayes found that in order to abate the fear, frustration, anger and exhaustion, he’d need to grieve by means of writing more music. He’d established his emotive and unbridled approach to songwriting with his 2014 debut full-length, Young Daze, but a period of personal trials and tribulations has since pushed him to new creative heights. If Young Daze captured the wistful optimism and re-imagining of youth, Sleepless is about regaining the strength to stand up, after life slams you into the concrete one too many times.
After all that’s transpired, Hayes has grown exponentially as an artist, receiving praise for both Young Daze (The Deli Magazine called it “fresh” and “modern”) and 2015’s Love Songs EP, featuring ex-Tsunami Bomb vocalist, Emily Whitehurst (SF Weekly dubbed the record “heartfelt,” while Infectious Magazine called it “a beautifully crafted EP”). Meanwhile, Hayes threw himself into touring and performing all over the country, making waves at festivals like SXSW, Noise Pop, Off Beat, Phono del Sol and Ocean Beach Music & Arts. Hayes has also shared stages with Nathaniel Rateliff, Langhorne Slim and The Record Company. His songwriting and structure now reflect the kind of maturity and depth that come from hard-won commitment and trying life experiences.
The story of Sleepless really begins in tragedy. The heart-wrenching collection of songs then truly demonstrate what it means to deal with death and the accompanying dread: The depth and joy of love, the agony of loss, the terror of embracing hurt, and the ultimate release of healing are all on display. Sleepless is the sound of migrating from one scarred and fractured shell to another. Despite all the anguish, Sleepless is ultimately marked by a deep sense of hope; the will and desire to keep moving forward, even in the shadow of grief.
“Songwriting has always yielded this cathartic release for me, but the songs I wrote for Sleepless were different,” says Hayes. “These songs gave me a place to be vulnerable and angry, leading me to eventually find a place of hope. They gave me a place to find strength again. What started out as a laundry list of scary things that kept me up at night became a collection of songs that detailed all the reasons why I make it through the day.”