Just like any sane person, I love to travel. It gives me a sense of being and puts everything into perspective. When I meet people travelling that share the same mindset I do, or put new ideas into my head, I never forget it. Ideas like: the proper way to do absinthe shooters, or how to punch a shark in the nose, in the event of an emergency — strong and firm.
I often associate places I travel with the girls I meet. Once I met an elusive Unicorn — not the majestic horse-narwhal hybrid, but a girl. Of course this girl looked nothing like a four legged land narwhal, she just seemed unbelievable to me. She laughed at all my jokes (which is undoubtedly very hard), she was inquisitive about everything, and had this magnetism about her that the whole room would gravitate to.
Over some flaming absinthe and some wine, we started to talk about music. I think one of the most intriguing things was that she was throwing band names at me that I’d never heard before. When I asked her who her favourite was — a necessary inquiry to determine whether I could truly love this person, without hesitation she said, “Hayden.” She said, quite simply, he was the best musician she’d ever listened to.
We went our separate ways and when I got back home, I listened to all the Hayden I could get my hands on. I figured I owed it to her. Years later, I’m still looking for Unicorns, and Hayden is still making music.
Much like that Unicorn, the music Hayden makes is unbelievable. With beautiful Lo-Fi/Folk sounds, and his nearly two decade spanning career, he’s carved out his own musical niche.
On his seventh album Us Alone, we hear Hayden get back into the swing of things, but throw some new stuff at us.
If there’s one thing Hayden knows how to do, it’s letting you glimpse into his soul.
I got the chills on album opener, “Motel” — with lyrics like, “I can’t go on pretending this song is about young lovers born to run/When it’s so clearly about you and me” — about adult love, and putting children in the mix.
I’m a sucker for anything with a harmonica, and “Almost Everything” starts with one. It’s probably Hayden’s most nostalgic and honest song to date, almost chronicling his musical career.
I can say one thing for sure, the tune “Blurry Nights” is going to go on plenty of my mix tapes over the next while. Probably titled “Bedroom Rock,” because it’s a sexy one.
For the most part, Hayden has always been more on the mellow side, which isn’t a bad thing. That being said, every album needs a song that everyone can easily sing to, and on “Rainy Saturday” Hayden brings out his peppy nature, and it works to his advantage.
I honestly can’t stop listening to Us Alone, mostly because it makes me look forward to meeting future Unicorns, and getting in touch with past ones. Listen to this album, and when Hayden drops by Nelson in March, you’ll see these songs come alive and appreciate him that much more.