Daniel Hales (solo), Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. & The Ambiguities
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Daniel Hales (solo), Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. & The Ambiguities


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""Frost Heaves" review: May 3, 2009"

from www.indie-music.com

May 3, 2009

Frost Heaves is a searching, searing, frequently seducing, noteworthy disc. Comprised of engaging East-Coast pop, streamy belles-lettres libretto, and an infusion of the psychedelic, lead singer Daniel Hales’ calculated words and melodies engulf all listeners who dare enter his world of discontinuance. The music carries one willingly and spiritually along and across the New England landscape Mr. Hales has experienced.

First and foremost is Daniel Hales’ musing original intellectualism, combined with exciting new metaphorical takes on the material world. For instance, during the sensitive-to-the-masses song "Shepherd of Lost Shopping Carts," for example, Hales blithely metamorphoses: "I’m the rector of the salvage lot, a congregation up on cinder blocks, no more need for their struts and their shocks."

On "Tel Aviv Waltz," Hales shows his oft-repeated gift for marked and poetic contemplation of his own inventive brand:

What is the difference
between a thick soup and a stew
What is the difference
between a bad cold and a flu
What is the difference
between a Muslim and a Jew
Which prays on a rug
and which prays in a pew ...

In recanting romantic encounters, the Frost Heaves unveil a bit of the degenerate:

...She said I don’t want to die in my sleep
So if you’re an axe killer you can finish me now ...

There is the droll with the philosophical on this lyrically entertaining album.

The hard-won and done title track, is sung in trilled, stiletto vocals. Daniel Hales can point a dagger when he wants to. Sometimes Mr. Hales’ voice cracks. One almost believes this is calculated too, but it is not.

Overall, this CD is moderately adorned pop coordinated and capably carried on by the pugnacious and pungent popster Daniel Hales. The record is best absent the psychedelic, and some of what works well is Hales’ conceived syllabicated accentuation as on the tune "North Pole in July." At intervals, one hears traces of Fleetwood Mac (on the song "Wrong Meter"), and generally speaking, there are Neil Young musical inferences.

Daniel Hales is an acute, perhaps thrilling observer of his surroundings, and the eyefuls of such remembrances he can translate into clever, persuasive lyrical roux.

-by Michael Haley - Indie Music.com

""Musical Promiscuity" May 21, 2009"

from: The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Clubland: Musical promiscuity

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The cover of The Frost Heaves' new CD
In this cutting-edge era of the cheap-and-easy digital dissemination of music online, when even the most popular millionaire bands in the world can't decide if creating a physical CD is even worth it, a reporter's mailbox does not exactly fill up with actual compact discs, let alone from nonmillionaire local artists.

So when a snazzy local album appeared in the office looking like a psychedelic autumnal test pattern, emblazoned with a spooky photo of a sign saying "Frost Heaves" and including a full-color lyric booklet, it was an exciting day. Someone still believes in the ancient ways.

"I've always been on the side of the dinosaurs," joked band leader and wrangler Daniel Hales in an interview earlier this week. "But I felt I really had to do something special for this album because we all put so much time and hard work into it."

For Hales, "we all" means a lot of people - his band's self-titled debut record includes contributions from as many as 14 local musicians. It's a loose collective that can play shows as a mini-orchestra, or appear as just Hales and his "Robo-drummer" looping pedal.

The Frost Heaves will perform as a quartet (Emily Brewster on backing vocals, Steve Koziol on bass, Hales on guitars and more and Brian Marchese on snare and hi-hat) live on WRSI on June 7, on the popular radio station's "Turn It Up to 11" weekly broadcast.

Enjoyable journey

The packaging isn't the only creative and alluring thing about "Frost Heaves." The music shimmers richly, and it came as no surprise when Hales divulged that some songs have 10 layers of guitar tracks. The thick soundscape rewards repeated listenings, and the varied album makes for an enjoyable journey.

Its 14 songs include a largely wordless hazy epic ("Shepherd of Lost Shopping Carts"), a fractured-kaleidoscope rocker ("Northpole in July"), a raga-like, eerie funk drone ("Discontinued Road") and an immediately catchy pop gem with a disorienting chorus that feels like the fever visions of a film-noir hero, having been drugged and knocked out cold ("Wrong Meter").

The album starts out on its most beautiful, haunting note, "Bridges Freeze First," with pedal steel moaning across the sunset landscape while violins and slow-motion cymbals fill the air. "Pray your undertaker put snow tires on his hearse," Hales sings dreamily.

The Greenfield-based singer/songwriter/musician/poet's list of influences is as long as a term paper and includes everything from author HG Wells to composer Charles Ives to Leonard Cohen to whale songs. Hales already has a band, The Ambiguities, but explained, "The Frost Heaves is where I get to follow my eclectic tastes wherever they want to go - whether into the psychedelic, electronic, folk, pop, rock, Americana, experimental - using whatever instrumentation it takes to get there."

"In the recording process, I really reveled in the chance to be musically promiscuous," Hales said, explaining that he invited a number of musicians he respected to contribute, among them drummers Mike Levesque and Tony Vacca, bassist Kurt Fedora, vocalist Anne Pinkerton and violinist Emily Breines. "I was lucky enough to have most people I asked say yes. At the time I didn't give much thought to how this was going to work live. Once the album was done, I tried to get as many of the folks who played on it to participate, but there were four different bass players, three different drummers.

"Fortunately, my good luck held and some awesome musicians who didn't play on the album agreed to join the Heaves collective: Brian Marchese on drums, Steve Koziol on bass, and Leo Hwang-Carlos on guitar and secret weapon. It wouldn't have worked without them."

Lyrical detail

Hales, who's been the English teacher at a residential special education high school in Northampton for 11 years as well as teaching evening classes at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, also writes plays, poems and fiction, which helps give his songs lyrical details not often put in pop tunes.

Lines pop out as though in 3-D:

"I'll go quietly like a bedsheet drifting over New England streets."

"All descended from grandfather clocks/ breeding dust and minding our ticks and our tocks."

"A baby stroller cradling pinecones/ a sled that stalled, dissolved into the hillside/ a leash corrodes, collar tagged Shadow."

The "Frost Heaves" CD is available now, and for those that can't catch the band's radio appearance or would prefer to see the group live, they'll be opening for a Pothole Pictures showing of Hitchcock's classic film "Rebecca" at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on June 26 at 6:45 p.m. - The Daily Hampshire Gazette / Clubland

""You Make A Better Door Than A Window:" album review, May 2012"

Daniel hales, and the frost heaves’ album You Make a Better Door Than a Window feels like a labor of love. The CD—the first new CD I’ve added to my collection in years—arrived in the mail with a photocopied lyric book in the jewel case—complimenting the nicely designed, glossy j-card—and a ‘zine-like, chapbook called I Have a Song to Tell You Now, which describes itself as “11 poems that aren’t about the album You Make a Better Door Than a Window…” Of course, that claim isn’t entirely true as these poems, written by an impressive array of writers (including Daniel Mahoney, Michael Earl Craig, and Corwin Ericson, among others) each seem to carry at least a passing relationship to the album’s twelve songs. The addition of the chapbook (printed by Setebos Press), is a nice touch, and gives the project the feeling of being just that—a project, a lovely and compelling artifact on which a group of people spent some serious time and energy. As I’m neither a poet, nor a competent reviewer of poetry, from here on out, I’m going to stick to a discussion of the album, proper. Let it be noted, though, that the chapbook is a nice touch and it makes the album feel like something special, before even hearing a single note.

On its own, You Make a Better Door Than a Window is a pretty nice album. Album opener, “Halo Over My Horns,” seems to nod toward some of The Clientele’s later work, invoking a warm and spacious autumnal atmosphere. “Braille for God,” builds on that atmosphere, rooting itself in delicate guitar figures that feel quietly lush thanks to some subtle horns, strings, and bells. Elsewhere, “Sick Day,” features another gorgeous, autumnal arrangement, the vaguely alt-country-ish “All the Owes in Tomorrow,” is fresh and loose, providing an engaging counterpoint to some of the album’s tighter arrangements, and “Present Perfect Tents,” is an impressive sideways step into Revolver-era, Beatles-esque psychadelia.

Generally speaking, Daniel hales, and the frost heaves have made a strong, atmospheric album with You Make a Better Door Than a Window. Of course, not everything here quite works—the drawn-out metaphors of “Bubble Test,” and “Singing in the Breakdown Lane” are too-cute by half, and despite its lovely, rootsy production, “Woman Inside My Head,” loses itself in a forced, dropped-g attempt at dialect and a bit too much of an emphasis on the banal (“But my tires need alignin’, the toilet needs a plungin’”), especially when compared to the lovely lyrics of “Present Perfect Tents” (“I ripped a page out of the light/and though every word’s a lie/the truth is each one tries…”). That being said, the album’s hits far outweigh its misses and, in the end, You Make a Better Door Than a Window proves itself worth both the time and energy Daniel Hales et al put into the production of the album and chapbook, and the time it takes to read and listen through both.

-by James Brubaker - The Fiddleback

""Good and Wrong," July 5, 2012"

According to the online version of Webster's Dictionary, the original definition of the word awesome is "inspiring awe or admiration or wonder." However, if you ask Greenfield singer and songwriter Daniel Hales, awesome is also one of the best words to describe the sound of his band, Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves.

"As a default, I would say we are 'awesome,' the original meaning of the word," Hales says. "Or, to use a term we coined—it's 'wrong,' as in totally sick, as in bad, as in supremely great."

And the English lessons don't stop there. When asked to explain the appropriate reading of his group's name, Hales, an English teacher and freelance writer by day, gives an answer that could come straight from a textbook.

He says, "The band name is supposed to read exactly like this: 'Daniel hales, and the frost heaves.' As in: it's not only a band name—it's also a sentence comprised of two independent clauses separated by a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Part pun, part English major dork move, part commentary on predictable 'and the' band names ... all self-deprecating humor. No matter what we call ourselves or how we write it, many people get it wrong, so why not make it extra hard?"

First taking shape in 2005 with the recording of a few rough demos, Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves completed its current lineup with the addition of members James Lowe (bass) and Ivan Ussach (drums) in late 2010.

Currently, the band is promoting the release of its latest album You Make A Better Door Than A Window. Featuring songs like "Halo Over My Horns," All My Best Worrying" and two versions of the title track, the record is an engaging yet hard to define mix of different styles and moods.

"The more you listen to this album, the more you'll hear: more layers, colors, textures, and themes. It's pretty varied—both musically and in mood—but I stand behind every song 100 percent," says Hales.

One track from Better Door, "Singing in the Breakdown Lane," has even become a favorite of NPR's "Car Talk," becoming the second Frost Heaves song to be featured on the program. And in between the recording of future material with the Frost Heaves and other auxiliary musicians, Hales also promises the scheduling of plenty of live gigs to promote Better Door, including a special album release party that will take place at the Green River Festival.

Hales says the festivities include "a full band set at the Green River Festival on July 15 at 5 p.m. on the Meltdown Stage [and] part two, a free listening/art opening/poetry reading/party at 7 p.m. at The Rendezvous. There will be an exhibit up of album art and art inspired by the album; it will also be a release party for the chapbook I Have A Song To Tell You Now, which features a poem about every song on the album."

by Michael Cimaomo - The Valley Advocate / Behind The Beat

""New CD goes beyond music; inspires poetry, art," July 12, 2012"

When the Greenfield-based band Daniel Hales and the frost heaves started work on the follow up to their 2009 debut disc, their goal was simply to make a new record. But along the way, the project morphed into something else and they now not only have a new album ("You Make a Better Door Than a Window"), but a chapbook of poems and a visual art exhibit that were both inspired by the songs off the album.

This entire multi-media project, which was three years in the making, will be unveiled this weekend when Hales and the frost heaves, which include bassist James Lowe and drummer Ivan Ussach, celebrate the release of the new album with two shows on Sunday, July 15.

The first of show these will be held at the Green River Festival where Hales and the frost heaves, along with some additional guest musicians, will perform on the Meltdown Stage at 5 p.m. Later that day, they will host a free after-party at The Rendezvous on 78 Third St. in Turners Falls at 7 p.m.

This after-party will feature the opening of "Bedder Dur," an exhibit of art inspired by the album, a viewing of a seven-minute film on the making of the disc by James F. Lowe and the release of the chapbook "I Have a Song to Tell You Now" from Setebos Press. The book features 11 poems by 10 poets responding to each song on the album. Local poets Chris Janke, James Grinwis, Corwin Ericson, Janel Nockleby, Karen Skolfield, Dan Mahoney, Michael Earl Craig, Chris McCreary, Patrick Porter and Hales will be reading at the after-party.

"You Make a Better Door Than a Window" consists of 12 tracks that run a wide spectrum of styles and emotions. From the opening track "Halo Over My Horns," which has a jangly guitar sound reminiscent of early R.E.M., to the psychedelic, eastern-influenced song "Present Perfect Tents" to the dreamy 1960s pop sound heard on "Sick Day," this disc can't be pinned down to one style. Hales brought in a host of guest musicians to flesh out his sound, including guitarist Joe Boyle, singer Heather Maloney, violinist Emily Brienes and others. To create the various textures on the album, he utilized lush backing harmonies and a wide range of instruments, including horns, keyboards, vibraphone, sitar, mellotron and even a Fanta bottle.

It's one of those albums that with every listen, you discover something new and different and Hales, who writes all the songs and plays various instruments, wouldn't have it any other way.

Hales and I recently sat down at The Rendezvous, surrounded by the "Beddur Dur" exhibit, to discuss this ambitious project.

"The first album was pretty eclectic, but this one is maybe a little more psychedelic, a little more Beatles influenced," Hales said.

Hales added that the title was taken from an old phrase that parents of a certain generation always said to their kids when they were standing in front of the TV.

At the opening of the title track, Hales sings: "You make a better door than a window/ 'cause you're easier to pass through than look into/ If the more I see the less I know/ in the end I'll know you less than I begin to."

There are two versions of the song on the album and while they are both acoustic-driven, catchy pop songs, the first one is more sprawling with backing trumpet and violin and lush harmonies between Hales and Hilary Weiner; it has Beatles-esque feel. The second version eliminates some of the lyrics and starts out a simple, stripped-down affair with Hales' guitar and vocals at the forefront.

It then builds to a dramatic conclusion complete with kettle drums and various background noises.

The songs perfectly bookend the album and provide listeners with a unique musical experience.

"When the album was taking shape, that was the song that felt like it could stand up as the title track," Hales explained. "The themes in this song run throughout the album. We did two versions because we are always experimenting with arrangements and I liked the idea of showing different permeations of the same song."

It is obvious from lyrics like "And try to imagine how a fish feels, eyeballs soaking wet" and "the past is an atlas stuffed under your seat," that Hales, who has an master's in fine arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has a love of language and of playing with words.

"I enjoy writing lyrics and it's one of the things I latch onto in other people's work," he said. "One of the reasons I wanted to bring the poetry piece in is because I feel a lot of the listeners don't pay attention to the words. I feel with this album, a lot of the words should be out front."

The poetry stemmed from a local writing group of which Hales is a member. After the group heard some of the album, they thought it would be interesting to try and write poems in response to his songs.

"I am listening to a song, it's called I'd rather be a door than a window, misery collapses into joy, only when it has no other choice, when something comes around and what is says is joy." This is a line from "Recipe For Luck 4," one of two poems (the other is "Telescopic Effect") that James Grinwis wrote in response to the title track.

Hales is flattered that this group of writers was willing to spend time with his music and to take what he does seriously enough to respond to it.

"Some of the poems I totally see how they got where they ended up," Hales said. "But other take such a different directions, it is just mind blowing."

Hales went on to say that after reading these poems, he was inspired to create a visual component to this work.

"I have always done collage and photography and the lyrics and the titles seemed to suggest so many visuals," he explained. "I thought 'we are already doing poetry, so let's make it all encompassing — let's do something that is visual as well.'" Hales created much of the artwork himself, including painting the lyrics to the title track on old doors and creating intricate collages built around the themes of doors and windows. Artists Carol Lollis, James F. Lowe, James Erikson, Anja Shutz and Tess Gadwa also contribute to the exhibit. "Bedder Dur" will be on display at the 'Voo until July 27.

Hales is pleased with the album, which he calls "awesome," but hopes that people will check out the entire project. When asked what he hoped people would take away from this, Hales answered: "A new favorite band, a renewed appreciation of how the arts are interconnected and some good songs to sing the next time they're standing in the breakdown lane with their thumb out." - The Greenfield Recorder / "Sounds Local" by Sheryl Hunter

""Best Door Yet," November 2012"

“It’s our best door yet,” Greenfield singer and guitarist Hales says of his band’s latest effort. And for listeners, this means an eclectic mix of college/indie rock, Americana, folk, psychedelia, soul and funk. Album opener “Halo Over My Horns” begins with a pleasant guitar intro before erupting into an upbeat rocker, while two versions of the record’s title track give alternate readings of a song that is revealed to be equal parts catchy sing-along and budding epic. “Singing in the Breakdown Lane” compliments lyrics about car trouble with a hard-charging country chorus. And “Braille For God” finds Hales employing a Michael Stipe-like delivery over muted percussion. Though some might gripe over the lack of a dominant musical style, repeat listens continually reveal hidden treasures. Whether it’s the scratches buried within the mix of “All My Best Worrying” or the sitar flourishes within “Present Perfect Tents,” fans will enjoy digging deeper. - Northeast Underground blog / Valley Advocate

"Musical Map"

“Bridges Freeze First,” the 5 song debut ep of Daniel Hales & The Frost Heaves, travels all over the musical map, drawing on a wide range of styles: alternative/indy without the smug hipsterism, Americana without the self pity, psychedelic without the affected British accent, rock without the rawk, pop without the saccharine, folk without the new age, experimental without the elitism. Like a good mix tape, “Bridges...” blends these (and other) genres without their limitations and cliches.

And if you enjoy this leg of the journey, stick around for the full 14 song road trip: “Frost Heaves,” due out in December. As if the band raided pawn shops and bazaars from rural New England, to Tel Aviv, to Kenya, to Calcutta, “Frost Heaves” is rich in unique sonic textures: pedal steel, Hammond B3, sitar, autoharp, talking drum, cello, harmonium, upright bass, darbukka, wurlitzer, tabla, psaltery, vintage synthesizers, banjo, djembe, violin, harmonica, celeste, dobro, harpsichord, strangely tuned guitars, drum machines, banjoud, twirl tubes, secret weapon, and Pabst Blue ribbon cans played with brushes.

For this eclectic project, Daniel (songwriter, singer, strummer, picker) took a break from his bands The Ambiguities and The Wherewithal and worked closely with producer and engineer Norm Demoura (NRBQ, the Shaggs) at Harmonium Studio (in an old brassworks building in Haydenville, MA). Together with a collective of talented musicians and vocalists, and propelled by drummer Mike Levesque (David Bowie, Juliana Hatfield), they’ve crafted a pleasing musical hybrid with gorgeous harmonies and lyrics that don’t suck. Why not satisfy your ear’s wanderlust and give it a listen?


- Hoboeye Online Arts Journal

"I'm Gonna Dance My Face Off Tonight, Aug. 20, 2009"

There is something very refreshing about the debut release by Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves. It's becoming increasingly rare in the circles of indie rock to hear an artist whose lyrics are obviously the work of a well read and intelligent individual, while still maintaining a simplicity that keeps the artist from coming across as an arrogant jerk. Daniel Hales manages to accomplish this amazing feat with ease, as Frost Heaves is a warm, endearing album that is smart, yet free from all pretentiousness...The album really shifts into high gear with the psychedelia of Loose Thread, where the slight twang of Hales' voice is still in tact, but when enshrouded in the midst of swirling guitars and trippy percussion, it comes across as something totally different. Shepherd Of Lost Shopping Carts is a breezier number with a dreamy psych pop sound that is nothing short of intoxicating. Other highlights are the straight ahead REM rocker Wrong Meter, the crazy psychobilly romp of Questions For A Carjacker and the truly epic ambiance of Discontinued Road. The title track is easily the most eclectic track on the album, as it meanders on with a psychedelic glow that would be an odd ending to the album if it wasn't followed by a simple acoustic bonus track entitled Walking Home, which wraps up the entire Frost Heaves package nicely.

Frost Heaves is the type of album that is perfect for this time of year, with our all too short Canadian summer winding down to an unfortunate close. With each listen, the album grows more and more reflective, striking a perfect balance between moments of quiet meditation and tripped out mind expansion, creating a sound that is difficult to pigeonhole, yet easy to digest.? - It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans

"Soundcheck: "Heave Ho," July 16, 2009"

SoundCheck: Heave-Ho
Comments (3)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
By Tom Sturm

A few months ago we were visited by one Daniel Hales, a longtime Valley artist whom I had known peripherally through various musical contacts, and whose other projects, S.H.A.R.Q. and The Ambiguities, had spun on our disc players. Hales foisted upon us his latest (and perhaps best) effort, an album called Frost Heaves, which, for the most part, harkens to an aesthetic similar to that of early REM or Beck's Sea Change, a relaxed, earnest baring of emotion dressed up in jangly guitars, creamy violins and pedal steel washes, and produced with great competence with aid from both Norm Demoura at Haydenville's Harmonium Studio and Scott Coar at Easthampton's Sow's Ear Studio.

Every now and then, one of our Valley artists manages to weasel, extort, wrangle through steadfast labor or otherwise come into a chunk of national attention. Now, Frost Heaves can bathe for a while in the national limelight thanks to NPR's Car Talk, a recent episode of which aired Hales' song "Questions for a Carjacker." Cambridge-based hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi (a.k.a. Click and Clack) are notorious for playing car-themed songs as quickly as they can find them, and the show is an opportune venue for anyone who's happened to pen a tune that's automotive in nature. You can listen to and learn more about Daniel Hales and Frost Heaves at www.thefrostheaves.com or www.myspace.com/danielhalesfrostheaves.

- The Valley Advocate

"Frost Heaves review January 29, 2010"

"...Hales’ cast of musicians brings a cavalcade of unconventional instruments to the album for a densely layered effect. Banjos and dobros accompany pedal steel and Wurlitzers giving just the right dreamy effect for tracks like “Bridges Freeze First” and “Distance to Mars”. Hales tends to stretch every lyric on the softer tracks, as if he is reluctant to finish any given word. The result is an added surreal edge that’s at once bewildering and pleasant. But the real standout feature on Frost Heaves is the lyrics. Hales is often prose-minded in his song writing approach, painting poetic images that intertwine with the ethereal sensibilities of his pop ballads. Carefully crafted lyrics such as “I’m the shepherd of lost shopping carts, pushing my flock across the lot, a pasture of dreaming and long distance thoughts”, are a rare commodity now days, but Hales seems to have an abundant supply. Even in the faster, less serious songs, Hales demonstrates a knack for diction and description. On “Questions for a Carjacker” Hales warbles in a faux-southern twang, “Now how and why did you steal a 12-year-old Century with two bald tires …what scum-sucking lowlife is driving my white-bodied, blue-interiored, American-made baby tonight?...” - Skope Magazine

"[cd shorts]"

"If Beck had more of an apocalyptic bent, he might produce something that sounded like this. "Eau De Ambiguity," the latest project of local impresario, Daniel Hales, is a defiantly anxious, eclectic and insistent work. Punk riffs, lovely melodies, distortion, hip hop beats, bizarre "psalmbytes," high flown speculations and earthier songs like "Griddle Good n' Greasy"--which features a wonderful sizzling grill effect--are held together by Hales' devotion to the concept...this is not a record made for casual listening. It's too demanding for that, but justifiably so." --Daniel Oppenheimer - The Valley Advocate

"Jump the SHArQ"

"The SHArQestra, performing this weekend at The First Millenial Basement Invitational, is an ad hoc band of some of the many musicians poet and songwirter Daniel Hales has gathered around him over the years to record his eccentric, cerebral, and eerily beautiful music..." - The Valley Advocate

"Spotlight Review"

"...Hales proves adept at turns of phrase, particulary in "Hard Day At The Proving Ground." Within the song, each line is set up and then deconstructed: "tough night at the pretzel plant, eveything is unraveling/ Meanwhile at the bindery, all the spines are loosening." Hales artfully plays with the duality of words in the English language, creating lyrics that are both smart and memorable.

Sonically, the band escapes easy stereotypes. Quick comparisons can be made to REM, since vocally, Hales' singing voice is similar in its high tenor range, tone and style to Michael Stipe's. But Hales' voice is perhaps best described by one of his own lyrics. In "Soliloquy (After Last Call)," Hales sarcastically sings, "Would you like me a little better if I was one of those cute kids in Hanson?/ Or would you like me a little better if I was Charlie Manson?" Like the lyric, Hales' voice can greatly contrast. Although predominantly soothing and melodic, it can just as easly switch and become growling and aggressive..."

-April Boyle - Northeast Performer

"Local Spins: "Frost Heaves" review, March 18, 2009"

Daniel Hales & The Frost Heaves

Frost Heaves

Daniel Hales and his backing band offer up this 14 song full-length, which is fresh from the plant. This disc takes on country, folk, and rock—I even hear an Indian raga influence in a song or two. Bolstered by warm production, the album twinkles, shuffles, howls, plods and dances. The ethereal vocals are soothing, relaxing and inviting and the instrumentation always fits each song like a glove. The songs are performed by a collective, though there is always a finely-tuned cohesion present.

The album’s strengths are its subtlety and its concision. Hales knows exactly when to reel it in and when to let it loose. The group is able to channel its disparate influences into a familiar sound that stands on its own two feet.

by Ryan Duffy - The Valley Advocate


w/ Daniel hales, and the frost heaves.

"You Make A Better Door Than A Window" July 15, 2012 (12 song album)

"Bubble Test" and "All My Best Worrying:" (2 song cd single/cassingle 2011)

"Frost Heaves" April 2009 (14 song album)

Single: "Vacationland," voted #37 in the top songs of 2009 by listeners of 93.9 WRSI

"Singing In The Breakdown Lane" and "Questions For A Carjacker" featured on the NPR radio show "Cartalk"

"Bridges Freeze First" 2008 (5 song ep)

w/ The Ambiguities:

"Everything Rhymes With The End Times" 2012

"eau de ambiguity" 2004

w/ SHArQ:

"Cactus In A Fishbowl Blues" 2002

"Future Artifact" 2001

w/ The Wherewithal

"Sailing Naked" 2007

"Spuncycle" 2003



Daniel Hales is an inventive singer, songwriter, strummer, and picker who is equally at home performing solo with a loop pedal or fronting the The Frost Heaves. "Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. offer intriguing songwriting and a sophisticated brand of indie rock" (6/9/11).

'You Make A Better Door Than A Window,' the second album by Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. was released on July 15th, 2012 in a two part extravaganza: first they played the album as a 7 piece band at the Green River Festival, then they hosted a listening after party at The Rendezvous with the opening of the Bedder Dur exhibit (album art and art inspired by the album), the book release of: I Have A Song To Tell You Now (11 poems by 10 poets written in reaction to every song on the album), and a second set by the band. The event was written up and the album reviewed in The Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Valley Advocate, The Greenfield Recorder, Hampshire Life, and The Montague Reporter.

Indie Music.com called the band's first album, 'Frost Heaves:' "a searching, searing, frequently seducing, noteworthy disc." "The album's strengths are its subtlety and its concision. Hales knows exactly when to reel it in and when to let it loose" (The Valley Advocate). The blog "It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans," offered this assessment of Frost Heaves: "With each listen, the album grows more and more reflective, striking a perfect balance between moments of quiet meditation and tripped out mind expansion..."

The Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. song "Vacationland" was voted one of the top 93 songs of 2009 by listeners of WRSI/The River (#37). Their songs "Singing In The Breakdown Lane" and "Questions For A Carjacker" were featured on the nationally syndicated radio show "Cartalk."

Currently, Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. are in the thick of recording their 3rd album: "Contrariwise: songs from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass." The album is slated to be released November 11th, 2014.

Daniel's lyrics have frequently been singled out for praise. Impact Press called his lyrics: “...nothing short of brilliant.” Ken Maiuri wrote in The Daily Hampshire Gazzette: "Hales... also writes plays, poems and fiction, which helps give his songs lyrical details not often put in pop tunes. Lines pop out as though in 3-D." April Boyle wrote in Northeast Performer: “Hales artfully plays with the duality of words in the English language, creating lyrics that are both smart and memorable.”

Daniel's solo tours have taken him from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and a lot of places in between. He has played at legendary venues like The Iron Horse and One Longfellow Square; he has also played intimate house parties, dive bars, and anarchist collectives. Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. have played festivals, iincluding the Green River Festival and The Upper Valley Music Festival, and have opened for national acts like Cotton Jones, The High Dials, and Mean Creek.

Whether performing solo or fronting the bands SHArQ (1998 – 2003), The Ambiguities (2003 – the present), Daniel hales, and the frost heaves. (2008 - present), Daniel always brings a few strangely tuned guitars, a looping pedal, an eclectic batch of songs, and a unique sensibility along with him.

Email contact: dhatfh@gmail.com