Musicians, like a heavyweight fighters or an NFL running backs, are seldom extended the freedom to age with dignity. Timely output, hype and constant reinvention are the currency music fans collect, preferring to raise unheralded and unpolished upstarts on shoulders while true talent remains grounded.
Hayden Desser is a true professional, and unfortunately for his popularity (and legacy), he’s one that moves at his own pace. Because Hayden writes in solitude and values his privacy over seeing his name in print or lit on marquees, he’s rarely included in the discussion of Canada’s greatest talents.
Hayden’s catalog is defined by consistency; he’s as good a song writer as we have and his contributions to alt.country and grunge are often overlooked because of the simple fact he puts out records that stand alone and stand the test of time each and every time. Skyscraper National Park and Elk-Lake Serenade are absolute classics, but more importantly, they still sound better than the latest and greatest records trying to recreate the same sounds over a decade later.
“Old Dreams” is the first single from Hayden’s upcoming record, and it’s remarkably straight forward and scaled down. The beginning rumblings are similar to those found in some of The National’s anthems, but Hayden uses the wash to frame a tender piano ballad instead of a surging affair. The end result is looser than his two previous LPs, letting a familiar deep voice sing of a selfless love that is bigger than anything, bigger than everything, without any distraction. This song, for lack of a better word, is pure.
Us Alone is out on Arts & Crafts on February 19th, and it will be outstanding.