Hayley Thompson-King - "Dopesick" (audio) (premiere)

by Jonathan Frahm

1 August 2017

Hayley Thompson-King offers up a searing and soulful Americana number born out of struggle.
Photo: Simon Sinard 

Hayley Thompson-King recognized around her Boston community for her gritty, operatic belt and the intellectual curiosity that culminates both musically and lyrically in her gospel-tinged rock tunes. This very clearly comes about time and time again in her upcoming record, Psychotic Melancholia, which has much to do with her criticisms of women’s roles in the Old Testament and reimagining them in captivating, often dark new ways.
The song “Dopesick” takes a turn further down a personal path for Thompson-King across its five-minute build-up into an explosive display of vocal prowess. Of the song, Thompson-King says:

“‘Dopesick’ was inspired by someone who I love very deeply who struggled with heroin. I wrote it for another band I was in called Banditas and released it on our record back in 2012, but the song just felt like it wanted another life.”

“Now when I sing it, I realize it’s really about this ‘dry-drunk’ thing she was experiencing that I identified with—when you can’t shake this heartache and it’s not any one person, but because of some cellular pain. It remains incredibly real for me. I still find myself weeping when we perform it live, so it just wants to be played.”
“‘Dopesick’ is a song where there’s no set parameter for how long it will go on. The band just feels it out to know when it’s time to change. They call it my James Brown number. They just sort of keep going until I get up off the floor and return to the microphone. It’s my favorite song to play with my band.”

Psychotic Melancholia releases on September 1, 2017.

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