Naturally Hayden

By Chris WhibbsFor those keeping count, In Field & Town is the third album title referencing nature, but don’t mistake this for some kind of overarching theme to the Toronto-based Hayden’s music. It just might be where he feels most comfortable. "I’ve always felt like writing songs when I left the city,” he explains. "Whether it’s camping or going up to someone’s cottage or just being away from everything, that’s the time when I actually felt like writing something down or picking my guitar and singing something. With this record, I was actually in a place like that for a long period of time.”

Most of this record was recorded in a northern "undisclosed location,” but recording away from the city was the only deliberate decicion made in its recording. Even the prominent use of piano to Hayden’s usually acoustic guitar-dominated songs was completely by accident. "I had a really nice old upright piano, it sounded beautiful and I wanted to play it all the time,” Hayden says. "That’s why there are more piano songs on this record because I was physically at that instrument more and liked being there. Not a grand scheme of more piano — that’s just how it happened.”

In the end, Hayden’s sparse arrangements and earnest vocals connect so well because they feel so innate. To this, Hayden definitely agrees. "I’m just trying to find the best kind of feel and I’m trying to find what performance feels the most natural. When you’re recording it’s hard, when you know the tape’s rolling or the computer’s on, to ‘get’ that emotional version of a song that you would normally play if it was late one night and you were not being recorded.”
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Article Published In Feb 08 Issue