Album Reviews

Hayden: In Field And Town [Album Review]


I’m continually surprised by In Field & Town. It’s been a good five years plus since I really sat down and listened to Hayden (MySpace), but revisiting his early record Everything I Long For, it’s easy to hear what drew me to the artist in the first place. Hayden’s demeanor on that record is one I wholly associated with at that time—mopey, sad, borderline depressed. But, in listening to his latest works contained within In Field & Town, it’s apparent we both have changed.

Hayden still (for the most part) possesses low, throaty vocals, but they’ve cheered up a bit over the past decade. Err you could call his past upbeat, but his present and future sure seem that way. The past and the present continue to differ not only in vocal tenor, but also in instrumentation. Where early on it was more minimal—simply Hayden and a guitar—it’s now quite a bit fuller. Undoubtedly, the high point finds Hayden jamming with a powerful electric guitar on “Did I Wake Up Beside You”. And listen to the dixie-ish trumpets in “The Van Song”… damn!

Hayden doesn’t toss his entire past away. There are still a fair share of sad songs on In Field & Town, but they’re not as plentiful nor as depressing as, say “Bad As They Seem” or “Stems”. Not surprisingly, it’s the soft songs where Hayden’s sad side shows; songs like “The Hardest Part”, featuring only Hayden on vocals and piano. The more upbeat the song, the higher probability it includes a full band.

In Field & Town reminds me that there is so much music out there, it’s impossible to take it all in. That’s why I missed out on Elk Lake Serenade and Skyscraper National Park. There’s simply too much. But sometimes, you’re in the right place at the right time and you’re reminded why an artist you once cherished dearly is so great. Luckily, that happened for me with Hayden’s In Field & Town, as this is truly a great album.

This review was originally published July 17, 2008 on the old version of FensePost.

Hayden: Where And When [mp3]

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In Field And Town by Hayden

Hardwood Records [CD, 2008]

1. In Field And Town
2. More Than Alive
3. The Van Song
4. Worthy Of Your Esteem
5. Damn This Feeling
6. Did I Wake Up Beside You?
7. Weight Of The World
8. Where And When
9. Lonely Security Guard
10. The Hardest Part
11. Barely Friends

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