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Hayden – Hey Love (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Hayden – Hey Love (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 44:53 minutes | 884 MB | Genre: Rock, Lo-Fi
Official Digital Download – Source: | Front Cover | © Arts & Crafts Productions
Recorded: Skyscraper National Park, Revolution Recording

On Hey Love, Hayden’s eighth full-length record, the Toronto musician and songwriter writes the most intimate passage yet in his decades-deep story. The follow-up to 2013’s Us Alone, his sonically warm and emotive debut record on Arts & Crafts, is a heartrending love letter of hope and disarray, the album’s thirteen songs among Hayden Desser’s most affective, tactile, rousing yet restrained work to date. The title track, a languid anthem exposed by chiming pedal steel, introduces this dialogue – about loves both comfortable and disconnected, exhilarating and naive – with Hayden’s woozy pre-dawn falsetto propped up by a watchful chorus. Hayden sings plaintively: “It’s been so rough, we have been through more than enough / But without this love, there would be no reason for either of us.” On Hey Love’s first single “Nowhere We Cannot Go”, triumphant piano mingles with tattered synthesizer and electric guitar, conjuring resilience from the throes of personal reckoning. Both familiar and new, “Nowhere That We Cannot Go” places us on the rickety frontier of Hayden’s home studio, where the certainty of pain and reward both figure prominently on the horizon. No clearer is this heard than on “Troubled Times”, with its brilliant juxtaposition of the apocalypse-in-progress (“If it’s not one thing it is another / These are sure troubled times”) against a lilting backbeat and a soulful sun-soaked shuffle.

With the release of his highly personal 2013 album Us Alone, Canadian indie folk troubadour Hayden returned from a few years away from recording, sounding refreshed and also with a renewed sense of purpose in the stripped-down presentation of his always heart-melting tunes. Just about two years later, eighth album Hey Love sounds like he’s still riding that particular wave of inspiration, offering similarly spare-sounding tunes that hold deceptively simple instrumentation and hearty doses of melody delivered in the singer’s by now trademarked heartfelt mumble. Recorded mostly at Hayden’s Toronto-based home studio, the talented multi-instrumentalist songwriter employed everything from pedal steel guitar to vintage synthesizers to construct the intimate, melancholic moods of the album. First single “Nowhere We Cannot Go” rides buried electronic drums and layers of intermingled instruments, building on fuzzy synth and piano lines from a melancholic set of verses into a triumphant crescendo. The beautifully somber title track coasts by like an On the Beach-era Neil Young outtake, with soft falsetto vocal harmonies, glimmering slide guitars, and muted drums congealing nicely around sentiments of keeping a long-running love alive. It’s not a particularly urgent track, but the song’s power is in grace rather than bluster. This is the case for much of Hey Love, in both the subdued, gentle moments of soft chamber pop like “Five Seasons” and the pensive, upbeat tracks like “Time Ain’t Slowing Down for Us.” At this point, the songwriter sounds comfortable enough in his craft to stretch new arrangement ideas around his familiar lovelorn subject matter. Even-keeled and romantic even in the most downtrodden moments, Hey Love is another fantastic addition to the catalog of Hayden, maturing slowly and coming up with some of the nicer tunes of his run so far. –AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas
1. Hearts Just Beat 4:35
2. Troubled Times 4:39
3. No Happy Birthday 3:32
4. Nothing Easy Feels Good 2:01
5. Time Ain’t Slowing Down For Us 4:22
6. Orange Curtain Light 3:14
7. Come Back to Life 2:16
8. Nowhere We Cannot Go 3:52
9. Hey Love 3:30
10. If More Things Go Wrong 2:45
11. Five Seasons 2:46
12. Just Come Out Tonight 1:41
13. Shelter 5:40

Hayden Desser – Composer, Vocals
Howie Beck – Drums, Tambourine
Burke Carroll – Pedal Steel
Karen Graves – Violin
J.J. Ipsen – Piano, Pump Organ
Taylor Knox – Drums, Vocal Harmony
Jay McCarrol – Bass, Vocal Harmony
Liam O’Neil – Synthesizer


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