Much-loved Canadian folk mainstay Hayden is set to make his return with Hey Love next week, and in anticipation of its release, Exclaim! is streaming the new record right now.
The new album follows up Us Alone and was produced by Hayden himself, who recorded most of the new material solo. He does get some help throughout the record, though, courtesy of live band members Jay McCarrol, Taylor Knox and JJ Ipsen.
A press release notes that Hey Love is a continuation of a music career that "has woven one of the most consistent through-lines of musical narratives imaginable, leading his audience through a scrapbook of downtimes fought and resolved, love lost and love solved."
The new material was also partially inspired by the work Hayden and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl dedicated to their inaugural benefit concert Dream Serenade — which raised money for Toronto's Beverley Street School, supporting children with developmental disabilities.
From piano-driven folk ballads like opener "Hearts Just Beat," single "Nowhere We Cannot Go" and "Five Seasons" to more shimmery, upbeat numbers like misnomer 'Troubled Times" to twangier, alt-country tunes like "Time Ain't Slowing Down for Us" and "If More Things Go Wrong," Hayden proves he can still float seamlessly through an array of sounds, all the while anchored by his unique songwriting voice.
You can catch Hayden performing the new material live at a series of upcoming diner shows. He'll be hitting up trendy Toronto eateries Caplansky's (March 24), Lady Marmalade (March 25), and Aunties and Uncles (March 26) for intimate performances and tasty grub.
A press release explains of the shows: "Each night will feature a unique set list of songs from Hayden's catalogue, old and new, as ordered up by the audience from the 'menu' at each show. These are non-ticketed events, accessible only to fans via contesting on Hayden and Arts & Crafts social media channels, as well as guest-list giveaways through select media partners, indie record retailers, and the diners themselves."
Hey Love officially arrives on March 24 via Arts & Crafts, but you can give it an early spin right now, in the player below.