Monday, January 7, 2008

Reviews:: Hayden In Field & Town

Hayden is like one of those super smart planes that Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel flew with in that terrible movie; amazingly talented and always underneath the radar. He's been putting out quality releases for years, started his own label (with a stable of great Canadian talent) and with the release of In Field & Town, I think he's finally going to get the attention he deserves.

The first thing you notice about In Field & Town is Hayden's song writing seems to be a bit more upbeat. The title track starts the record and the distorted sound and drums really energize you. Hayden's vocals delivery is still the same, but the it's matched with a more experimental groove. The track settles into a nice rhythm but adds some tambourine, boss a nova percussion and subtle bass piano notes that echo in the distance to thicken up the last two minutes. The textures he plays with doesn't clutter the song, they simply keep you paying attention.

More Than Alive is a more traditional sounding Hayden track. A spare piano, simple drum beat and a triangle are the centerpieces of the song, but he adds horns and a chaotic guitar/fuzzed bass bridge. Hayden is taking more chances on this record, letting his lyrics and sound structure pave the way for interesting flourishes and new instrumentation.

He picks up the pace on Worthy of Your Esteem, another funky track that uses reverb, distortion and driving drums. The subtle harmonies on the chorus complete the track, and even the big guitar solo seems to evolve naturally. The build of the song is so gradual and organic that you simply smile as Hayden sings the "na-na-na-nahs" to close out the track.

The record is extremely rewarding for fans new and old. Any fan of his older works will love the piano/harmonica driven Damn This Feeling, the steel guitar that dominates Barely Friends and the warming intimacy of Weight of the World (the harmonies are back porch worthy), but for the more indie-centric folk, Hayden is clearly happy to experiment with tempo and sound.

Did I Wake Up Beside You? has a jazz slink to it and the crescendos on the chorus work well, but it's the single - Where and When - that grabbed me. Hand claps, another infectious groove (the bass line is great) and some falsetto make this a head nodder, but the dueling horns that appear out of nowhere are so shocking and so well executed I don't know how you could not love this song. It's only three-minutes, but I wish it lasted ten.

If I look back to Everything I Long For and seeing Hayden play at the Marquee to where he is now, everything I loved still remains, it's just beefed up with new sounds that are enjoyable and fresh. I haven't listened to the new record enough to dive into his always deep lyrical content, so I'm sure the enjoyment I get from this record will only increase over the upcoming months.

Hayden is playing out here with Jenn Grant on February 11th and 12th @ UBC's Norm Theatre. It's going to be amazing, so you should go.

MP3:: Where and When
MP3:: More than Alive - live in Copenhagen
This is taken from a show you can grab on Hayden's message board. It's the first look at the new stuff live, and he compliments the crowd for being so nice.

web site :: label

Posted at 1:19 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

more than alive -- excellent!!


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