HazyShade Productions 
Kirsten Hazler, Singer/Songwriter/Producer 
704 North 27th St. 
Richmond, VA 23223 

The Haze & Dacey Collective release the title track from their upcoming album, Letters from Gilead 

RICHMOND, Virginia (September 17, 2021) - The Haze & Dacey Collective is what happens when the folk(ish) duo Haze & Dacey brings additional musicians into the mix to fill out the sound and spice things up. On September 17, the band released the roots-rock single titled Letters from Gilead, a track from the upcoming debut album of the same name, which is slated for release on November 12. If the title reminds you of The Handmaid’s Tale, either the novel by Margaret Atwood or the television series based on it, that is exactly as intended. Songwriter Kirsten “Haze” Hazler read the novel decades ago, and it stuck with her through the years, never losing its relevance.  

Once Haze got around to watching the television series, she was immediately hooked, bingeing her way through Seasons 1 and 2. The emotional impact was both devastating and exhilarating, inspiring a song-writing spree that began in early 2019. First came the alt-country introspective My Name is June, followed closely by Blue, a rock-punctuated folk number that, at over six minutes long, almost counts as two songs. At that point, Haze knew she had a whole album brewing, and started jotting down titles and snippets of lyrics. The tenth and last song to be composed, the title track, was written in May of 2020.  

Because of the pandemic, recording was delayed until early 2021. Even then, conditions were not ideal, but Haze was tired of waiting. The band members practiced individually to the scratch tracks Haze provided, then masked up and headed into the warehouse that served as the temporary home of the Sound of Music Studio in Richmond, Virginia. In the capable hands of recording and mixing engineer John Morand, they brought Haze’s musical vision to life. The process took several months, with recording and mixing sessions interrupted by everyone’s day jobs and other annoying adult obligations. 

On the album, Haze handles lead and some backing vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano, and her partner John Dacey holds down the low end with both upright and electric bass as well as backing vocals. The Collective fleshes out the sound with drums (Blee Child), electric guitar (Leslie Williams), mandolin (Doug Austin), saxophone (Allen Burris), and additional vocals (Jolie Harrison, Megan Rollins, and Doug Hewitt).  

Instrumentation varies depending on the song, and the album as a whole defies categorization into a single genre. Straightforward rock (Closet Scrawl, Under His Eye), airy folk-pop (Sliver of Joy), speakeasy swing (Jezebel’s), a lullaby (Hannah), and an epic piano ballad that shifts into something like gospel (Feels So Good to Fly) all coexist on an album that concludes with a piece that would be right at home on a musical theater stage (Oh Canada). The common thread is the stories of the people hanging on to love, hope, courage, and humanity, while trying to survive the dystopian nightmare that is Gilead. 


Track information:
Album information: 


Cover art by Mary Chiaramonte

The band (left to right, top to bottom): John Dacey, Kirsten Hazler, Leslie Williams, Doug Austin, Allen Burris, Megan Rollins, Doug Hewitt, Jolie Harrison, and Blee Child