Another song spotlighting Reinhart’s stunning vocal range, her fiery cover of The Box Tops’ The Letter finds her brilliantly matching Alex Chilton’s moody growl. He has such a guttural, raspy tone to his voice, and I wanted to try to create the girl version of that, says Reinhart. It ended up coming way more naturally to me than I even thought it would.
The era-defining track that gave What’s That Sound? its title, For What It’s Worth opens with a quietly haunting intro before unfolding into a full-fledged anthem. With its stirring string accompaniment (courtesy of esteemed composer Tom Scott), the song reveals Reinhart’s supreme vocal command as she lends new weight to Buffalo Springfield’s ever-poignant lyrics.
In each of the original tracks featured on What’s That Sound?, Reinhart’s timeless sensibilities are found to closely inform her own songcraft. Those gracefully arranged pieces include the album-opening Let’s Start, which gives a breezy nod to Brazilian music with its bright harmonies and tropicalia-inspired rhythms.
From her sorrowful howl on Oh! Darling to the steely intonation of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, What’s That Sound? exudes a vocal confidence that Reinhart’s honed through a lifetime of singing. Thanks to her parents’ long-running band Midnight, she grew up on rock-and-roll, jazz, funk, and blues and began mastering each genre in early childhood. Along with joining Midnight onstage throughout her youth, Reinhart studied jazz in college and played in jazz festivals across Europe while still a teenager. After finishing in third place on season 10 of American Idol at age 20, she released her acclaimed 2012 debut Listen Up! via Interscope Records. Arriving in 2016, Reinhart sophomore album Better featured Can’t Help Falling in Love-a spirited remake that’s garnered over 56 million streams on Spotify.
In addition to collaborating and touring with Postmodern Jukebox since 2015, Reinhart recently ventured into voice-acting by starring alongside Bill Burr, Laura Dern and Justin Long in F Is for Family (a Netflix original animated series whose second season premieres May 30). Also known for her impassioned live performance, she had her first solo headlining tour of the U.S. last summer and recently completed her first solo headlining European tour.
For Reinhart, creating What’s That Sound? ultimately deepened her connection to the music that’s long colored her world. The beauty in the simplicity of these songs hit me more than ever while recording, she says. Most of the original versions aren’t even three minutes long, but there’s so much power in their words and melodies – they leave you wanting more.
In introducing each song to a new generation, Reinhart hopes that power will have a lasting impact on listeners. I’d love for people to hear this album and think about how it relates to our modern world, she says of What’s That Sound?. Even though we’re all faced with challenges, it’s also a chance for us to become more aware and more in tune with each other. Hopefully these songs will move people in a positive way and help them realize that good things will happen when we stick together.
What’s That Sound? tracklist
1. Let’s Start (Original)
2. Baby It’s You (Smith)
3. For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
4. The Letter (The Box Tops)
5. Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
6. White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
7. Somewhere In Between (Original)
8. Oh! Darling ft. Scott Bradlee (The Beatles)
9. Sunny Afternoon ft. Scott Bradlee (The Kinks)
10. You Showed Me (The Turtles)
11. Words of Love ft. Scott Bradlee (The Mamas & The Papas)
12. Bring the Love Back Home ft. Casey Abrams (Original)
13. Time of the Season ft. Casey Abrams (The Zombies)
14. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra)
Haley Reinhart on the web: