Hayden | | June 3, 2016
I came to Hayden’s music late – at the release of 2013’s Us Alone – and I have since been going back through two decades of songs over many late nights, not only when I’m looking for intelligent pop or a tune to make my heart warm, but also when I want some company as a father, as a writer, as someone who loves both darkness and our efforts to find light.
I was caught right away by a sense in Hayden’s songs that they were born of lived experience. He sings of living for his music, how much and how little music can mean in the face of life. Music is ‘almost everything’, and it would be nothing without the people who are close to him.
I love this new album (Hey Love). I can’t imagine not standing up when I hear "Nowhere You Cannot Go," and I can’t swallow my heart when I picture a beautiful wordless daughter listening to "No Happy Birthday." There’s also regret in these songs, a bit of drear and heavy-liddedness, talk of time slipping away and the next generation coming up. But one thing I love about Hayden’s music is that there is never bitterness or judgment, just a recognition that all of it is part of the struggle. And the struggle is necessary, inevitable, and beautiful. These songs are about resilience.
Hayden has always made music on his own terms. His studio, his sounds...What Hayden’s music tells me is the world is made of aching individuals and many of our lives are familiar. We carry on, we yearn, we hope for five seasons, we make things along the way. We try, and we forget the people we’re trying to be, because we’re trying. Whether in his words or just in the honest spirit of his songs as a whole, Hayden honours our attempts.
— Colin McAdam
*This past year, Hayden released his ninth studio album and celebrated the 20th anniversary of his classic debut Everything I Long For with a deluxe vinyl re-issue and a sold-out tour of the Ontario cities he frequented during those early years.
*Dream Serenade is an annual concert established by Hayden and his wife Christie in 2014 to benefit services to support developmentally and physically disabled children. The event will return for its third year at Massey Hall this October 22. Please check out dreamserenade.ca for more information on this great cause.