Los Angeles-based genre-bending duo “Sand Box,” composed of Kylie Hazzard and Cameron Black, unleashes a mesmerizing auditory journey in their debut album, “You’re Hardly Here.” With a penchant for embracing the strange, experimenting with the absurdities of life, and an earnest invitation for listeners to reflect and join in a unique moment, the duo’s sonic exploration spans an array of styles. The album’s genesis lies in the duo’s basement, where they independently produced the entire work, utilizing a Behringer X18 and a collection of professional knowledge in their home studio. The result is a captivating 11-track odyssey that blurs genres and defies convention, inviting listeners to traverse a realm of transformative and reflective soundscapes.
Kylie Hazzard, a guitarist since the age of 7, and Cameron Black, a virtuosic saxophonist with over 20 years of experience, bring their diverse influences and multi-instrumental talents to the forefront. The album’s creative process involved Kylie’s acoustic ideas evolving within the digital audio workstation (DAW), layered with Cameron’s contributions of saxophone and synth, creating a harmonious blend of experimental elements. The tracks of “You’re Hardly Here” each offer a unique sonic experience, from the dreamy atmospheric vibes of “Folie” to the anthemic celebration of individuality in “Same Old Star.” The duo’s versatile approach is showcased in “Porcelain Dolls,” where the sound of breaking ceramic mugs adds a distinctive touch. Themes explored in the album revolve around reflection, transformation, and the alchemization of negative emotions into positive ones. The concept follows a troubled soul grappling with its place in an overcomplicated world, ultimately realizing the true nature of energy and embracing a shift in perspective.
As professionals in the entertainment industry, both in music and film, Kylie and Cameron bring a wealth of experience to “You’re Hardly Here.” Influences ranging from The Velvet Underground and David Bowie to St. Vincent and Radiohead can be detected, creating a rich and eclectic musical tapestry. “Sand Box” not only delivers an album but also presents a unique ethos of encouraging others to follow their sparks with confidence. The DIY spirit of the production underscores the duo’s commitment to experimentation and self-expression, resulting in an album that defies categorization and welcomes listeners into an immersive sonic experience. With “You’re Hardly Here,” “Sand Box” offers more than just an album—it’s an invitation to explore the vast and varied landscapes of musical possibility.