Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hayden: "Old Dreams"

With the countdown on until some of Toronto's favourite musicians take the stage at Saturday's Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival (to celebrate the label's 10th anniversary), let's listen only to the festival's extroardinary musicians for the remainder of the week. The docket begins with Hayden, one of Toronto's most legendary folk icons who released the gorgeous and poignant Us Alone in early 2013 - his first release on the A&C label, but his seventh album in his 18 years on the Canadian music scene.

"Old Dreams," in particular, found a special place in my heart as soon as it was released. His voice is characteristically achy, while the twinkling piano-led melody is inviting and dreamlike on an album that's, in essence, just that. The notoriously private Desser took a hiatus to start his family, before beginning work on Us Alone - a stripped-down 8-track release that's shed many of the bells and whistles of previous albums. Us Alone is, in my opinion, one of his most beautiful - indesputably reassuring his place as one of Toronto's most beloved treasures.

It may be an unadorned Hayden ditty, but those are some of his best, after all. And, either way, it's more than enough to keep us fascinated with him after all of this time.

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