Concord Records is pleased to announce the release of Hayley Sings, the debut album from American Dad! star Rachael MacFarlane. MacFarlane voices the beloved animated character of Hayley Smith on the Emmy nominated television show, American Dad!, currently in its seventh season. Hayley will be introduced as a vocalist in the series' eighth season premiere, scheduled to air on September 30th at 9:30 PM ET/PT. "In that episode," MacFarlane explains, "Hayley becomes a singer in Roger's bar, and the producers came up with the idea that she's a lover of standards, which I am as well." To round out the 14-track playlist, she and manager Allen Sviridoff "thought about what kind of music Hayley would listen to. She's a hippie, a child of the '60s and '70s. When I was growing up, my dad introduced me to groups like Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles and Crosby, Stills and Nash. So we decided to run with the idea of re-imagining music from my childhood, which would be appropriate for Hayley to sing."
Two of the album's fourteen songs will be included on that season-opening episode of American Dad!. First is "Someone to Watch Over Me," which introduces Hayley's vocal skills. "It's a song I've been singing since high school," says MacFarlane, "We wanted to strip it down and create a quiet, introspective version with the small group." Second is "Makin' Whoopee," the album opener. The show's producers, says MacFarlane, "were going for a Fabulous Baker Boys feel, which was perfect for the storyline. "Out of This World," is also on the album. The classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that Hayley is becoming romantically involved with an alien, and would be a great addition to a future episode's soundtrack.
A few additional standards found their way onto the album. "I'm Glad There Is You" is, says MacFarlane, "my father's favorite. It is really stripped down-just me with George Doering on guitar-and it's a love letter to all the musicians, and everyone else, who made [the album] possible."
The remaining tracks are all drawn from the 1960s and '70s. Paul Simon's "Feelin' Groovy" is, MacFarlane thinks, "a great marriage of Hayley and me. I grew up singing it, my parents loved it, and yet it seems to fit so perfectly with the character. When Allen and I were discussing it, we decided to slow it way down." Equally slowed down is MacFarlane's rendition, arranged by Tedd Firth, of the Chiffons' 1963 hit, "One Fine Day," written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. "I wasn't sold on it for a while," she says, "because for the longest time I had the boppy version in my head; but when we really started working on it with the band, I fell in love with it." A second Goffin-King composition, "Up On the Roof," also made the cut. "If I have a favorite track, this is it," says MacFarlane. "This is truly Hayley's voice coming through. It really taps into that 18-year-old angst we've all had."
To close the album, MacFarlane chose Lennon and McCartney's "All My Loving," arranged and conducted by Matt Catingub with just Doering's guitar and a bank of strings. "It really is such a beautiful love song when it is slowed down," she says. "We thought that it sounded like someone singing who is going off to war and saying goodbye to their lover, and when I played it for my husband, that's exactly what he said."
As for the likelihood of future recordings, she gleefully insists, "without a doubt! I love doing cartoon voiceover but this is what I've always wanted to do. I would be blissfully happy if I could do another ten records." And she'd be equally delighted to shape those recordings at Concord. "I've been blown away by them," she enthuses. "Everyone has been so welcoming and embracive."
MacFarlane will tour in support of the album on September 27th at Catalina's Jazz Club in Los Angeles, on October 11th at Regattabar in Boston and on October 15th at the Highline Ballroom in New York.