One of the very few artists that I’ve listened to long enough to see their writing mature drastically is Canadian folk-rock singer/songwriter Hayden. Before the days of widespread Internet access, I listened to his first record entitled “Everything I Long For” on a seemingly endless basis without knowing much about either him or his other work, if there even was any. As the album’s title suggests, Everything…is a dreary yet thoughtful record and is filled with oddly catchy tunes about, among other things, pining for unattainable older women and drowning in a car with his little brother. While this of course may not sound like the kind of feel-good record you want to put on repeat at your next pool party, somehow Hayden managed to put together the perfect album to compliment rainy days or a thoughtful mood.
From the album “Everything I Long For” here is the song “Bad As They Seem.”
Hayden then switched record labels to Hardwood Records and changed his writing style ever so slightly moving away from the lonely homebody to adopt a more woodsy aesthetic and began singing about impromptu road trips and pondering fidelity in relationships. His latest albums “Elk-Lake Serenade” and “In Field & Town” are noticeably more upbeat, and when things do slow down the songs carry with them a relaxed atmosphere as opposed to depression. Throughout each of these newer albums however there is never a feeling of the music being forced in one direction or another, but only the natural growth of a great songwriter.
Here’s is Hayden’s titular song from the film “Tree’s Lounge.”