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The Harmaleighs Chicago House Show

Wednesday, April 01, 2015 Perry

I'm always interested to know how a band got its name.  What is the story; the meaning that answers the question, what's in a name?  For Nashville rooted folk duo, The Harmaleighs, the answer is sweet and simple.  Haley (guitar and vocals), plus "harmony", and Kaylee (bass and vocals), equals Harmaleighs.  Two friends brought together by music, a perfect pairing.  

On March 12th, The Harmaleighs traveled to Chicago to play a house show, featuring songs from their debut album, released February 3rd of this year, Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush.  On the lower East side of the city, I found myself in front of an apartment door, a sign hung on it which read, "House Show Here!!".  I knocked lightly, opened the door, and found myself in a humble apartment, filled with friends and family of the two girls.  Haley greeted me with a warm welcome.  Feeling right at home, I took a seat in the back of the room and waited for the set to begin. 


After taking the stage/living room floor, the girls opened with one of their new singles, Colorblind.  In combination with a few other songs from their new album, they also performed a selection of covers, including, Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball, Burning Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash and Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People.  Hearing Haley and Kaylee perform live, their connection and compatible harmony was apparent.  Their soulful sound and clever lyrics left me astounded and wanting more.  

After the show, I spoke with the girls about their performance and how they got their start in music.

 Halfstack Magazine:  How did you two decide to come together to start The Harmaleighs?

 The Harmaleighs:  We were friends first. We realized we had a mutual love for folk music and jammed one night. We both wanted to pursue a career in music and after the night we jammed, we realized that we had something good here. 

HS: What is the song writing process like for you?

Haley: First, I spend time coming up with an idea or a hook. Basically just observing life or hearing other people's stories. Then once I have an idea I'll play some chords on my guitar and get a melody going. Once I get that, then I write lyrics, rewrite, and rewrite again!

HS:  How did you go about scheduling the house show in Chicago?

TH:  On our music page & our personal pages we asked if anyone, anywhere in the country was interested in hosting. We got a bunch of hits from friends & family and just made a route and picked dates!

HS:  You performed a selection of covers at the show.  Do you have any favorite artists you enjoy covering in particular ?
Kaylee: I really enjoy covering male artists and putting a feminine spin on them. Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen are two of my favorite artists that we cover. 

HS:  Why do you choose to do house shows? 
TH:  We enjoy house shows the most because they are intimate and we make our own rules! We don't have to play a certain amount of time or covers if we make a deal with a bar or other venue. We like to consider house shows mini theaters for bands our size.
HS: Where do you hope to go from here?
TH: We are in the process of growing the amount of content we have online (more videos, press, & music). We want to play a bajillion shows so we feel 100% confident in our live performances. After we accomplish all of that, we would love to obtain an opening spot for a band or several. We would love to play theaters. That is the dream.

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