Angie Haze – Time Thief

I love seeing local artists on the rise, and I do think Angie Haze is one such example.  Angie is local to my city of Akron, OH, and she finds herself on various news outlets and interstate tours of late.  She recently released a new album, Time Thief, which is available April 7th on Bandcamp or at her live shows.  Those are the only places you can get it.

Angie is a dynamic artist in many ways.  Her music is just one part of what she does and how she presents herself.  I think that is what draws me to her music.  This album includes her band, as well, namely Chris Dudley, Justin Tibbs, André Frazier, and Rachel Osherow.

She plays music that she calls “creepop from another time”.  I’ve tried to dissect her style many times, and it is honestly very difficult.  On the surface, she might just be alternative rock or pop, but there are deeper ideas at play, too, like jazz.  And it’s not just the genres in the mix, it’s also the way she puts them together that sets her apart from the pack.  There is a certain level of endearing quirk and eccentric confidence that sells this music.

I reviewed Angie’s Mutations EP last year, and I still like that a lot.  However, I first heard of Angie with the release of her single “End of Times” that released two years ago.  I was therefore a little taken aback that it was not on the EP.  Well, the song is found on Time Thief, and I love it just as much as before for its quirky beat, searing social commentary, and unconventionality.  I’m finding, though, that I like some of the other songs just as much or more.

I haven’t heard an album with such gorgeous peculiarity in some time.  Some of the songs are truly odd, and you can tell that even by the track titles, but the art and the talent are obvious.  I absolutely love the opener “Swim” with its swooning, humid rhythm, and blatant commentary on climate change.  It doesn’t feel preachy, but it is truly addictive and catchy, and I think can win over fans immediately.  “Run” follows it with a slow and soft ballad of sorts, but it is somehow transfixing.  Next comes “End of Times” to complete a rock-solid opening trio for the album.

The following seven tracks keep up the pace.  I love “Beneath the Dirt”, a mysterious tune with familiar sounds of a northeastern Ohio summer evening painting a calming background.  It feels almost vintage in some ways, and definitely shadowy and enigmatic.  “Shade Dwellers” is a perfect example of the picturesque writing style Angie has; the melodies are strong, nostalgic, and instantly attractive.  That one is so easy to sing along with, even at work.

The second half of the record gets pretty interesting.  “Do You Dare” has a vicious rap portion and fantastic last few minutes where the rap, distortion, and groove all meet.  “Paint the Sky” is even groovier and I love the dirty sax that livens things up even more.  “My Luck Dragon!” is a beautiful and pure sounding ballad that has oodles of heart. 

The final two tracks are some of my favorites.  “Seized at Night” is a darkened alley of ambience and nighttime.  The dirty sax lines return to make it feel metro and alive, and it has a shuffling sort of rhythm that makes you want to snap your fingers.  The title track closes the record, and I must point out that the lyrics are profoundly effective.  They address a difficult subject, and yet the song is still so listenable.  I really like the haunting second half, especially.

Angie Haze continues to improve with each release I’ve heard, and Time Thief is definitely going to be one of the best pop albums of the year.  There is just so much to digest, and yet it is immediately palatable and interesting.  Her style catches you off guard with how smooth and melodic it can be, but plenty of other elements enter the fray to keep listeners on their toes.  In the end, though, Angie can write and she can sing, and those two talents are so potent on this release.


Find Angie Haze online:





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