Track This: Hayden's "We Don't Mind"

It's fall again, so that means that the music around here slows down and gets decidedly folky, if not more rootsy. That's not to say there isn't plenty of metal and rock and roll on the playlist, but some of the slower songs get priority.

Hayden's Everything I Long For is one of those singer-songwriter records that pulses anew on each listen. His simple guitar playing and everyman gruff vocals lend a veracity to his simple tales of love, loss, and boredom. While he has grown as a songwriter since its 1995 release date, the simple power of his unadorned vocals and aching lyrical approach make Everything one of his greatest artistic statements. His song craft has improved, but he has never bettered the album's timeless exploration of pain. Many people remember the single "Bad As They Seem," which put the Canadian singer on the map, an exploration of the narrator's hopeless unrequited love for the women he can't ever date -- a sixteen year old girl and a woman who has a daughter who is sixteen. He laments that he always does this to himself and will have to live in his parent's basement until he is "at least forty-three." 

"We Don't Mind" is just as idiosyncratic, beginning with a strummed acoustic guitar, and telling the story of a less ill-fated relationship through a vignette that really resonated with me when I was nineteen, but still resonates in its simplicity. Hayden sings "We both have to be at work in an hour /
Let's call in sick I suggest to her /I'll call your boss and tell her that you're under /The weather, you'll call mine, you will tell her / That I'm very sick and that, you're my mother." This simple ploy allows the couple to spend the day together. As it rains, they hide in a phone booth and hide from the world.

Hayden's songs are simple explorations of life, stemming from the smaller moments that many songwriters forget about. He stretches these Raymond Carveresque situations across songs and albums that resonate because of the emotion he wrings from every last note. Even on his faster songs, where he adopts a punkier yelp, like Everything's "When This Is Over," where he sounds like Adam Sandler on speed, emotion carries the day. Yet the lyrics, in their exploration of the minimal, grab on and won't let go.

Track This is a recurring feature of Snobbin' that turns the music appreciation dial up and rips it off of your stereo. It attempts to introduce a new track, allow readers to rediscover an underappreciated track, or just serve as a forum to flat out discuss a track that falls into the ear candy category and should be listened to unabashedly for years to come.


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