28 Mar

The Band:  Hayden 

What’s the story?   When I was 18, I moved to a city that I didn’t understand. I started in a new school and immediately became overwhelmed. I had acne and I didn’t know how to talk to girls. In the depths of adolescent flunkery, sentenced to a weekend night watching videos on TV, I stumbled upon the dark and descending chords and deep drawl of a song simply called ‘Bad As They Seem’: “What do I do this for, got to get out some more, go down to the grocery store, meet someone I’ll adore….someone who will make me laugh, someone to be my better half, keep me warm under the sack, share with me my midnight snack”. In 8 lines, a loner troubadour from Ontario named Hayden captured teenage angst and aspirations of love perfectly; a call to arms and conciliatory anthem all the same. Along the winding road of failures and successes of the past 15 years, growing up and finding and losing love, I had lost track of Hayden, as we sometimes do, even with music we adore. Then last night, I got the chance to see him at Festival Hall (Inglewood!). Happily, Hayden is alive and well, still tirelessly travelling the landscapes of our vast nation and playing to a loyal but undeservedly small fanbase, having evolved into a good humoured songsmith with comforting melodies and the cleanest of riffs. He does deserve your audience like so many unsung Canadians do. I still don’t know how to talk to girls, but things aren’t as bad as they seem anymore.

Sounds Like:  Cat Steven’s moody son raised on 90’s alternative and the darkness on the edge of town.

The gateway song:    “Home By Saturday”

Other songs:   


“Blurry Nights”

“Rainy Saturday”

 “Bad As They Seem”

If You Like this, check out these bands/songs: 

Bombay Bicycle Club “Dust on the Ground” and “Ghost”

Pete Yorn ‘Music For the Morning After’ album

Junkhouse “Shine”

Beck ‘Sea Change’ album

Ps – thanks to D. Grover for opening my ears to Hayden, once again.

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