Hayden Calnin

I’ve finally managed to catch a live performance of Hayden Calnin. He’s just finished a dozen or so shows with Gossling, accompanying her down the East Coast of Australia on her ‘Intentional Living’ tour. The Sydney show was at The Basement with Hayden as the first supporting act.
While that meant his set was all too short, it was really, really, really good !!!
I’m not too familiar with Gosslings music but Hayden’s stuff (what little there is of it at the moment), I know very well. To be honest he was the reason I jumped on the Bike, full of anticipation and headed into town.
What a great night.
I got to say G’day and met his buddy Andy, who was not only a cool guy but texted Hayden to come upstairs so I could gush on about how good he was. All very embarrassing coming from a ruddy-face, middle-aged man.
And just to add insult to indignity, a fellow punter asked me if I was his manager which is marginally better than being mistaken for his Dad I suppose.

You can probably tell that I’m a big fan of Hayden’s, a huge fan actually and i was trying to explain, as much to myself as to my wife, why? It’s more then that beautiful voice of his. More than those hypnotic loops that just drift out with his music, wrapping themselves around you in an ensnaring embrace. For me it’s something a little less obvious, a little more esoteric. It’s the silence that he purposely fashions into his songs. It’s this silence, this space that I think allows the notes to leave. Theres a term that muso’s use, ‘dead space’ to describe this but I don’t think of it as dead at all. It’s a living breathing thing as integral to his songs as metre and melody. People draw comparisons between Hayden and Bon Iver, Hayden and James Blake which is kind of obvious but I think is only the beginning of the story. For me there’s a fundamental difference between what Hayden does and what Justin Vernon does. And that difference revolves around how they structure the ‘space’ in their music; what they do with the ‘silence’. Don’t get me wrong I love Bon Iver but he is filling his landscape up – Hayden is paring his back. The more interesting comparison (at least to my ears), would be with Brian Eno circa, Another Green World (flit across here to listen) and that was released, like a decade before Hayden was born!

I have to apologise for my last post on his music. The two tracks I linked too City and Chased by Horses have been removed (I’m guessing that they are coming out on the City e.p which is due in June. And while Hayden didn’t cover them in his Basement set he did do a stunning rendition of Everything That is Good which has been looping around in my head ever since.

“… give me the devil,
         because he seems so level …”

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