[Cover photo credit to Christie Greyerbiehl]
Toronto Indie-Folk Rock mainstay Hayden, has announced Are We Good, his first full-length studio album since 2015, due out April 5th, 2023 via Arts & Crafts. The news arrives alongside lead single “On A Beach (feat Feist)“ and a cinematic official video featuring Leslie Feist, with cameos by Matt Berninger of The National and beloved actor Steve Buscemi. The latter is someone who Hayden last worked with on the music for Trees Lounge, Buscemi’s 1997 directorial debut.
The song is a couple’s duet about turning to hypnosis in search of “the spark of their youth”. Its music video directed by Yael Staav, who has directed most of Hayden’s videos for the last 25 years.
While Hayden acknowledges that this collection of eleven songs took him the longest to complete, “On A Beach” proved to him that “after all these years, a song can still appear nearly fully formed in one quick inspired moment.”
Hayden shares about the song and new album:
One afternoon February 2021 I was asleep at my piano when I received a text from my friend Leslie (Feist), inviting me to be a part of a songwriting workshop with several other musicians of note. I was terrified, but joined in as an attempt to jolt myself out of submission. The idea was to write a song a day for seven consecutive days, sharing them later each evening with the other writers. A great combination of pure feet to the fire expression and accountability.
‘On A Beach’ was my “day four” submission. I continued tinkering with the song and recording in the following weeks, adding a bridge, tracking several synth lines to try to create what I thought hypnosis may sound like. A few weeks later, Leslie was in town and I invited her to sing on a newer verse I’d written to make the song more of a conversation. Who better than the best, and the one who basically made the song happen in the first place.
Are We Good was written, Produced, and mixed predominantly by Hayden at Skyscraper National Park, the studio at the top of his Toronto home. Hayden found himself trading ideas back and forth over time with Matt Berninger, the first time he’d collaborated in this way. The National frontman also co-writes the album album tracks “It’s Just Me” and “Can’t Happen Now.”