By Emily Carney
Toronto’s Hayden Desser released one of my favorite indie rock albums in 1996, Everything I Long For. It has aged remarkably well, given that it was produced in the mid-1990s (let’s face it; music did have a specific sound then, even though we didn’t realize it at the time). It occupied a prominent place in my CD collection (remember CDs?), next to Sebadoh’s III and Pavement’s Wowee Zowee. I’ve lost track of Hayden over the years, but just caught up with his music by listening to his newest release, Us Alone. It’s like saying hello to an old friend who has gotten older and might be having a slight nervous breakdown, but I mean that in the best possible way.
Tracks like “Instructions” and “Just Give Me a Name” are moody and slow, very much in tune with some of Hayden’s 1996 tracks. The more uptempo tracks, including “Rainy Saturday” and “Blurry Nights” have a Neil Young-esque quality to them—lots of guitar effects, plaintive vocals, and slightly country-ish flourishes. This album is not a radical departure for Hayden by any means; it’s more like a whisper in the dark than a sonic boom.
That being said, it’s recommended listening. It has a “sweet and low” quality, similar to Yo La Tengo. It’s perfect listening for the party after the party, where you’re drunk, emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted.
As some things get older, some things stay the same—while it seems Desser is in a happy relationship, he’s still a bit mournful. Adulthood does that to you.
2/6: Kingston, ON @ The Grad Club
2/7: Guelph, ON @ Cooperators Hall SOLD OUT
2/8: Hamilton, ON @ The Dundas Valley Montessori School SOLD OUT
2/9: Avening, ON @ Avening Community Centre SOLD OUT
2/13: New York City, NY @ Mercury Lounge*
2/20: Toronto, ON @ The Dakota Tavern SOLD OUT
2/21: Toronto, ON @ The Cameron House SOLD OUT
2/22: Toronto, ON @ Rivoli* SOLD OUT
3/7: Wakefield, QC @ Blacksheep Inn*
3/8: Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa*
3/13: Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/17: Denver, CO @ Hi Dive*
3/20: Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern*
3/21: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge*
3/23: Vancouver, BC @ The Rio Theatre*
3/24: Nelson, BC @ The Royal on Baker*
3/26: Edmonton, AB @ The Royal Alberta Museum Theatre*
3/27: Calgary, AB @ Festival Hall*
3/28: Saskatoon, SK @ The Bassment*
3/30: Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre*
4/3: Chicago, IL @ Schubas*
6/8: Toronto, ON @ Arts & Crafts 10th Anniversary Field Trip
* with special guest Lou Canon