Singer and songwriter Hayley Reardon blew the audience away last Friday, Feb. 17 with her heartfelt story songs.
Living a grand adventure, Reardon has traveled around the world the past five years, touring through Europe and gathering experiences and stories to write songs about her life, the people she has met, and the adventures she’s gathered along the way.
“Thankfully, because of trying to make music work as a job, I lead a very interesting life and get to travel a lot and meet a lot of interesting people, and so that’s very fruitful for songwriting, and exposing myself to all kinds of different places and people and that usually feeds the writing as much as just being a human and writing about my own feelings and experiences,” said Reardon.
Growing up in Marblehead had a heavy influence on Reardon’s start to her career,
“I’m extremely from Marblehead. Like both my parents grew up in Marblehead. They’re both like total townies so I’m, very much from Marblehead and when I got into songwriting and wanted to perform my songs for people, the only reason I could was because I happened to be in New England, on the North Shore around Boston, where there is like a very thriving sort of like folky scene where there were coffee houses and church basements and places that a kid could play that weren’t like bars,” said Reardon.
Through her travels around the world, Barcelona gives Reardon the same sense of warmth and community she receives from Marblehead.
Reardon started playing guitar and writing songs when she was 11-years-old. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee to attend college and lived there for a few years after.
Reardon then moved to Germany where she was offered an artist residency with a place to live while working on a project and touring through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.
Having a lot of offers, job opportunities, and connecting with Spanish friends along the way, Reardon returned to the U.S. knowing that she had a lot of reasons to return to Germany – including falling in love.
“It was just where my heart was and where I put a lot of time into building something. So, I wanted to keep growing that and I could be close to my friends in Spain and work there. I had a band I was working with in Denmark. I could be close to them, you know? It was very central for me,” said Reardon.
From that experience grew “Honest,” a song Reardon wrote in a transition period when she returned back home to New England and was deciding to go back to Europe long term.
The song originated when Reardon went cold water winter swimming with a friend in December.
“It was freezing, and she had always told me that the reason she loves to go in the cold ocean in the winter is because it keeps her honest and I had never done it and I didn’t know what she meant,” Reardon said. But I was in this sort of crossroad moment, right? All these floating ideas and experiences and I wasn’t sure what to do next or where to go next and we went into the ocean together and it was very cleansing and inspiring, and then I went home and wrote that song called ‘Honest’ because I think I got a feel for what she meant.”
A focal point in her career is finding, recording, and performing with her team in Spain.
“I think that the collaboration and the kind of resonance that we have together and the magic of the way it all kind of came together, it’s one of the things I’m most grateful for and proud of,” she said.
To Reardon, traveling has changed the way she interprets music.
“I feel like for a long time, especially when I was in college, I went to school in Nashville and I studied music and songwriting and I was so focused with narrative storytelling and the craft of storytelling, which is so important,” said Reardon.
“But over the past few years, with my travels and all the music I’ve encountered and the artists I’ve encountered in different parts of the world, I’m much more attuned to sort of this emotional resonance and this different type of storytelling and a different type of communication that speaks to me much more and that’s come through my travels for sure and the musicians I’ve encountered in different parts of the world,” she added.
Throughout her career, and now 26-years-old, Reardon has expressed her creative impulse and performed at various Ted Talks while she was in high school, and at TEDx Boston in 2022.
“That’s such a beautiful opportunity to be surrounded by speaking of how travel has enriched my life. That’s another example of sort of interdisciplinary gatherings of people from all different walks of life and all different projects and passions, and I’ve always been so inspired by that. Often I’m more inspired by people who live their lives in interesting ways than I am by just music or just a musician or just an artist. So, things like that, for me are very, very engaging and powerful to be around a lot of different mediums and missions,” said Reardon.
Some of Reardon’s past songs include her experience driving from Zurich to Munich and a song called “A week in Berlin.”
Reardon’s next extended play called Changes will be coming out this June. Changes focuses on Reardon’s internal journey and process of growing up and the weird threshold between her early 20s and trying to root down into some adult version of herself.