Scary Mansion: you’ve been thundersticked
It’s a wonder that Leah Hayes hasn’t popped up on our radar before now. The Massachusetts musician has dueted with TV On The Radio, toured with the band’s Kyp Malone and was in noise-rawk duo Satan’s Fingers for a spell.
She’s also a talented writer and illustrator whose artwork has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Newsweek and on the cover of McSweeney's Quarterly.
While she produced music before as an Antifolk luminary, Hayes is currently in the frame with Scary Mansion, whose new album Make Me Cry is rather awesome. A three-piece also featuring Bradley Banks and Ben Shapiro, Scary Mansion make buckwild music that is a little bit punk, a little bit grunge and even a little bit folk. That last ingredient could be chalked down to Hayes’s “thunderstick”, a three-stringed acoustic yoke similar to a banjo.
Make Me Cry is a finely turned out piece of work, with Hayes and co ditching the introspection of previous musical dalliances for a punchier, more melodic set of tunes. It’s indie rock with a flea in its ear and hellhounds on its tail. Viewing highly recommended.