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Hayden, 'Us Alone': Exclusive Album Premiere
Listen to the singer-songwriter's seventh full-length, launching exclusively on Billboard.com.
Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden has spent nearly two decades crafting spacious yet intimate folk rock, and "Us Alone" marks a fresh start sonically as well as his debut on new label Arts & Crafts. His seventh studio album is due for a Feb. 5 release, but stream the full LP exclusively on Billboard.com below:
Since issuing his lauded 1995 debut "Everything I Long For," Hayden Desser has run the gamut of release formats over the career -- from major-label backing for 1998's "The Closer I Get" to self-releasing the seminal "Skyscraper National Park," from putting forth a slew of singles and EPs to taking years to perfect a full-length. The one constant, however, has been his dexterity in the recording studio, often manning multiple instruments on the same song while letting his gentle voice shine.
"I was moving away from so many records now (including some of my past work) where every song features an overwhelming number of instruments; it's often hard to replicate things like that live," Hayden explains in a statement. "I wanted the sound of five people walking into a room and playing a full set. With the exception of some stellar help from friends on a song or two, those five people were mostly just me."
"Us Alone" is one of the songwriter's most personal statements to date, with the epic closer "Instructions" staring death in the eye and the harmonica-led "Almost Everything" an ambitious autobiography. "This is a song about my love for music from my days opening solo for grunge bands in the early 90's, to recording this record while my daughter slept upstairs," he says of the latter song. "This is kind of like my E-True-Hollywood Story in 5 minutes."
Following the release of his Arts & Crafts debut, Hayden will embark on a tour of North America, including three dates in his native Toronto, a Feb. 13 show at New York's Mercury Lounge and a stop in Austin for South By Southwest. Check out Hayden's full tour dates below:
Feb. 6: Kingston, ON (The Grad Club)
Feb. 7: Guelph, ON (Cooperators Hall)
Feb. 8: Dundas, ON (The Dundas Valley Montessori School)
Feb. 9: Creemore, ON (Avening Community Centre)
Feb. 13: New York City, NY (Mercury Lounge)
Feb. 20: Toronto, ON (The Dakota Tavern)
Feb. 21: Toronto, ON (The Cameron House)
Feb. 22: Toronto, ON (Rivoli)
Mar. 7 Wakefield, QC (Blacksheep Inn)
Mar. 8: Montreal, QC (La Sala Rossa)
Mar. 15-17: Austin, TX (SXSW)
Mar. 20: Seattle, WA (Tractor Tavern)
Mar. 21: Portland, OR (Doug Fir Lounge)
Mar. 23: Vancouver, BC (The Rio Theatre)
Mar. 24: Nelson, BC (The Royal on Baker)
Mar. 26: Edmonton, AB (The Royal Alberta Museum)
Mar. 27: Calgary, AB (Festival Hall)
Mar. 28: Saskatoon, SK (The Bassment)
Mar. 30: Winnipeg, MB (West End Cultural Centre)
What do you think of "Us Alone"? Share your thoughts on the album in the comments section below.