A Raw And Emotional Release From Hayden Calnin

by Silvia Pellegrino

18th August, 2019

Imagine if Bon Iver and Damien Rice had a child. That is exactly how Hayden Calnin’s new single ‘F**k Collingwood’ sounds: a sheepish and comforting song that transports the listeners in the Australia-based singer and songwriter’s secluded mind.

His voice starts raw and honest, “see we’re uneasy now come lately, took you to see my family, but I don’t know if you’re true“, with a haunting synthesised background, which is growing after each note. This song is about a change in life, as Hayden described, he wrote it when he realised that to find new inspiration he had to change scenery: and that is exactly what he did. Moving in a house near the beach in Melbourne, he was able to find his true sound again and came back with a heart-wrenching song that reflects perfectly the aim of all his music: to give the listeners a peek of the diverse and intense emotions that he might feel.

“Who you gonna love? Am I always gonna run? I’m done with love…”

The strongest peak is reached after the first refrain when he is saying – more to himself than to others – that he will never love again. Loneliness is a companion that everyone will meet at least once in life, and he depicts it so delicately and perfectly in a simple 4-minutes-long tune, “I’m finding it hard to leave, ‘cause this comfort’s comforting me…

The harmonies – made principally by his own voice and a subtle piano – grow after the Bon Iveresque ‘who you gonna love’, which reminds me of Skinny Love’s ‘Who will love you? Who will fight?’ and the song opens up gloriously. It is able to touch the most intimate emotion, because it is scarily relatable, and it is almost ironic how the peak of the pain and desolation is reached towards the end: it ends with a scream and, reminiscent of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men’s idea, it recalls that ‘the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper’.

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