Us Alone by Hayden
Click play on the above video, and just watch/listen. Don’t read anything more; come back when you’ve heard the whole song… (I just hit play on the video myself, got to the end, and started it over again, unable to type another word until I’d listened to the whole song all the way through two more times on top of the 50 bajillion times I’ve already played it this year.)
I don’t know what it is about “Blurry Nights,” but to me this is the best song of the year, hands down. Perhaps it’s the repetitive, slow and droning rhythm guitar, or the laziness with the way Paul Hayden Desser, aka Toronto-based Hayden, allows the words to barely escape his mouth, like they’re being sung through a funnel that’s one size too small. Maybe it’s the one-octave-higher doubling by the lovely Lou Canon (also from Toronto) or the fact that Canon is Desser’s sister-in-law, and the two of them singing this chorus in unison paints an awesomely adulterous picture:
I don’t know how to do this.
But will you leave with me right now?
Nothing good can ever come from this in the long run,
but let’s not dismiss all the fun we can have tonight,
if we forget how we might feel in the morning light.
My love of this song probably has a lot to do with the way that chorus is sung. It barely holds together, with a tenuous rhyme at the end and words sung at all the wrong beats. But it’s gorgeous, and I could listen to it forever and ever.
This was my first experience with Hayden, even though Us Alone is his seventh studio album in his nearly 20 year career. Alt country has played a big party in my listening habits this year, as you’ll see as the Calendar progresses. This album fit right in.
After listening to this song and the rest of the album so many times, I’m finally feeling ready to work my way back in his history, but if you have any experience with him and have a specific album I should check out, I’m all ears.