Hayden Calnin: SOYA and Sydney with The Falls
Heading to Sydney and performing at Fbi Social this week is Melbourne born and electronically bread Hayden Calnin. Fans of Bon Iver and Matt Corby would be doing themselves’ a great disservice not to catch his EP launch this Wednesday 19th Sept.
Despite the popularity of acts like Corbs (who Calnin has already toured with) and Sydney’s Oliver Tank, the 22 year old Victorian native is boldly steaming forward with his unique mix of dreamy electronic melodies and atmospheric hooks. With tracks ‘For My Help’ and ‘Summer’ having already garnered a wealth of support from Triple J both on regular and unearthed radio, he has also received some kind reviews from Dom Alessio, “…the wonderful melodies and drama in this makes it stand proudly on its own” and Rosie Beaton, “Wow what a talent – the production on this song is wonderful and what a voice! love the drama in this song”. But this “drama” they speak of won’t thrust you about violently, it’ll soak into your ears and then slowly seep down into your chest without you even realising… I’ve had ‘For My Help’ unknowingly on repeat for about the past ten minutes – one ear lost in Hayden Calnin’s soundscape, the other listening to the muted thuds of rain against my window.
Opening for Hayden this Wednesday are Sydney’s duo-of-the-moment, The Falls. Their own EP ‘Hollywood’ has captured the hearts of folk across the country and their lead single ‘Home’ has received nearly 16, 000 hits on soundcloud.
On top of finalising things for the release of the new EP ‘City’, Hayden was recently named as a runner up in the QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards with music mentor Lee Groves saying, “What an amazing voice. I loved Hayden’s use of guitars, soundscapes and melody. Highly recommended listening. I am expecting big things from this young man!”
You can catch Hayden at FBi Social this Wednesday with tickets available on the door for a wee $10 – but before you hear him sing, here’s a bit of his story…
Firstly, a huge congratulations on your SOYA runner up placement – how do you feel?
I feel great, and very privileged. There were a lot of great artists in the mix so to come runner up is a huge personal achievement.
There are a lot of electronic artists rising up from the darkness of their bedrooms at the moment, and we’ve heard lots of terms like folktronica, dreamwave and bedroom-producer, but tell me about your story – is Hayden Calnin any different?
Well, everyone is different. Everyone has their own way of going about being a bedroom artist. The biggest advantage of doing it all at home is time. No pressure from a clock. Everyone will go about the production differently too. I go out a lot to collect real sounds which can’t be made or recorded at home. For instance, this could include traffic noise, or people talking, or leaves rustling, which i then play with back on the computer to create music from. This is probably a habbit that I obtained from studying film and being heavily into sound at university.
How did you begin making this type of music – have you played in other bands?
I’ve only been doing this solo thing for a year. Before that i was in lots of bands ranging from rock, metal, and an indie band, only one of which i sang in. I used to just play guitar and bass. I went solo after the last band i was in lost its momentum. We got to a stage where we stopped having fun ’cause we were playing the same set every gig and stopped writing new tracks. Going solo also allowed me to try new things and experiment with different genres, so i got heavily into recording heaps of tracks to develop my sound and i guess you are hearing just the beginnings of it now.
What instruments do you play?
I play the guitar, piano, bass and drums. I attempted to play the trumpet but my ears disagree. That goes for violin as well. As much as i want to play it, it always sounds like i’m squeezing a cat…
Was there a point where you decided to tackle music head on?
Not really, it just kind of happened. And i’m pretty darn happy about it.
When you’re not making beautiful music to fall asleep to, what are you doing?
Annoying my girlfriend with lame jokes, and digging holes to burn wood in…
Has the success of the SOYA placement had an impact on your following?
I’m not too sure. It’s certainly opened my eyes to other artists so maybe it has had the same effects on others to my music.
Where to from here?
I’ve got lots coming up and the airport looks like it’s going to be my new home over the next few months. After all the shows that are coming up i’ll get back into the studio and get started on the next EP. I’m pretty excited for that.