Sean Hayes’s Run Wolves Run presents a melodic, soul-soothing, blues-meets-rock ‘n’ roll blend of soft guitar strumming, drum beats, solid songwriting, and heartrending vocals, making for a particularly appealing compilation of songs. As a songwriter, Hayes creates some of the most emotional music of his career on this album, tapping into the depths of light and dark that exist only in a man who has experienced true pain and joy. The unusual delivery and indie folk tendencies, combined with drummer Andrew Borger and bass player Devin Hoff’s infinite skills, forces the music in unforeseen directions, liberating Hayes to pour raw feeling into each note.
The combination of Hayes’s expressive voice and simple yet insightful lyrics immediately resonate. As a whole, the album sounds like a group of talented friends getting together to jam and hitting that magical place where everything comes together. As such, Run Wolves Run takes us on a captivating journey through the heart of a truly independent artist and gives off a profoundly resolute, poetic vibe.
A rarity in folk music, Hayes’s dispenses a plethora of sounds, giving each song a different mood and sensation. Seeming to be organized into two parts, the first half of Run Wolves Run focuses on more straightforward songs with drums, guitar, bass, and vocals, while the second half features stronger, fuller, and faster tracks.
Hayes demonstrates a deep introspective understanding of himself in the soul-searching, slow-paced “Garden” and as an artist in “Powerful Stuff,” then shows that good music doesn’t need to be complicated with “So Down.” With some added intensity, the bulked up second half of the album includes “Gunnin,” which sounds like a bit of an anomaly, thanks to its harder, sensual, almost rapacious aura. These same sensations are layered throughout songs like “One Day the River” and “Shake Your Body.”
Free of pretense, but still allowing enough ambiguity for interpretation, Run Wolves Run provides a more charming, interesting side of Hayes that has shown growth since he first started releasing albums in 2003. But all signs of evolution aside, it’s Hayes’ passion for music that continues to permeate through Wolves’ songs, producing a record that’s both truly original and an unarguably comfortable listen.