Music has gotten the Hadleys through a very rough time. Tragedy struck in 2015 when the three-piece band of siblings — Gabrielle, Hannah, and Drew Hadley — dealt with back-to-back fatal car crashes in their immediate circle. Last May, their second cousins — two-year-old Gentry Dobbs Eddings III and his brother, Reed Michael Eddings, who was born that day via C-section — died in the same car wreck, while the parents — Hadley and Gentry Dobbs Eddings II — both survived. Then in November, one of the Hadleys’ childhood friends, Jackson DeVaul Moore, died in an automobile accident, just before the band left to record in Nashville.
“Going through a tragedy can either tear you apart or you can get stronger from it,” says guitarist Drew. “It put a lot of things in perspective, and we realized how important family means in all of that. The name change was less of what’s commercial than what’s a good banner to hold through all of these things.”
You see, the band changed their name from Volcanoes in the Kitchen to their family name back in February. “There’s nothing more true to us than who we actually are. And we are the Hadleys,” says keyboardist/vocalist Gabrielle.
The Hadleys relied on each other during this dark time and turned to music as a way to work through and express how they were feeling. From these events, they wrote their new EP Heart Peaks. While the title of the new record serves as a nod to their former band name — there’s a Canadian volcano called Heart Peaks — it also represents the highs and lows they’ve experienced. “Someone You Love” is the album’s lead single.
“I think ‘Someone You Love’ hits different ways,” says percussionist Hannah. “It helps people realize they can still have true joy amidst all of it, all the awful circumstances. We’re trying to help people get through those times, get to the other side, and still be happy people. Joy is brave.”
As Volcanoes in the Kitchen, the Hadleys released their first EP From the Hill Where We Counted Stars in 2014 and quickly began performing locally and connecting with established Holy City-connected artists, like Christina Cone (Frances Cone), Steven Fiore (Young Mister), Slow Runner, and the Tarlatans (now Beach Tiger). What began as Joni Mitchell and James Taylor-inspired folk has since evolved into something with a stronger pop mentality. That’s partly thanks to Slow Runner’s Josh Kaler, who produced Heart Peaks and pushed the Hadleys to expand their sound. In addition to their standard harmonica, keyboard, and guitar, the band’s soundscape now features layers of Microkorg synthesizer and electronic drums.
Aaron Creasey will control the programmed drums at the release show, while some songs will feature local trumpeter, Clay White. Collective Coffee and La Gaufre’s Belgian street waffles will also be on hand.