The Last Best Place is the second full-length release from Minneapolis- based pianist, John Hayes. It began as a single solo piano piece written to cope with the unexpected loss of a friend, but finding himself in a new studio space and dealing other anxieties, Hayes continued to record new pieces during the late hours until they evolved into a complete album.
“All these things lead to a great deal of uncertainty in my life. It is funny how we always tend to gravitate towards the things that are most familiar to us during uncertain times. For me, that will always be music. One day I finally decided to sit down and take the time to record these pieces that I had been playing during this time. The result is this album. Maybe some of these songs will calm you the way they calmed me. I hope so. With so much busy going on, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back, close your eyes, and just listen.” – John Hayes
Listening to this album is like talking through the night with a friend. Thanks to the intimate recording process and Hayes’ ability to articulate complex emotions through his compositions, you can feel the nocturnal stillness each of these pieces. This is the time when our losses, regrets, and fears come to call, but with the brush of each hammer the music brings us closer to the dawn of a new day.
Premiering here is the penultimate track “Things That End”. Put on the kettle and a pair of headphones and make yourself comfortable. We’re all going to feel better in the morning.
The Last Best Place will be available from Sonder House beginning May 15, 2020 in two vinyl LP editions featuring artwork by Moriah Wolf – standard black and a limited white edition of 200 – as well as digital download. “The Last Best Place” is a common nickname for the state of Montana, a place cherished by Hayes’ friend Bradley Johnson to whom the album is dedicated.