The Hails Reach a New Milestone with Their Debut Album, ‘What's Your Motive’ [Album Review]

Olive Soki

Florida’s very own, The Hails, have been hard at work for what feels like quite some time now. With countless singles and EPs to their name it was about time they put an end to the agonizing wait for their debut album. An elaborate display of their immediate influences, musical prowess and musicianship, their latest record, What’s Your Motive, propels them forward, while presenting forth a thesis to prompt further meditation.

Comprising ten tracks, nothing about What’s Your Motive feels out of place or out without purpose. From the order of the album, which progressively broadens thematically to emphasize universal aspects of the human experience, and relationships, to the curated blend of genres interwoven throughout, What’s Your Motive accomplishes a great deal. Speaking of which, it seems as though the band has mastered the very delicate art of curation. When done incorrectly a lack of curational finesse leaves the consumer/listener with loose strands that neither start or end. However, when done cleverly, curation deepens art, both aesthetically and cognitively. This is achieved rather perfectly towards the second half of the album, marked by the fifth track “They Seem Wrong.”

Back to that alleged prompt. While What’s Your Motive serves well as an alternative rock album, it would be a shame not to acknowledge the conceptual frame that holds it all together. As lead singer Robbie Kingsley explained during a short interview, it was important to them not to put a question mark at the end of the title. Elaborating on this stylistic choice he adds, “I think that it's very deliberate because I think it's more of an analysis of like ‘ actually, you do know what your motive is, but you're having a hard time coming to grips with it.’ (...) it's almost like there's an imaginary ‘that's’ in front of, so it's almost like that, that is what is your motive.” An artistic manifestation of The Hails, and the strides they are taking to achieve their career and life motives, What’s Your Motive invites us all to acknowledge our own goals, big or small, and take the necessary steps towards victory

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