Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: HAYDEN EVERETT

The artist is encouraging listeners to reflect and embrace the joys of nature with his new EP “Kennecott”.

New Noise: Hayden Everett With Plant
New Noise: Hayden Everett With Plant

While many of us take it for granted, nature was a huge source of solace during the events of last year. Drawing on this very fact is indie artist Hayden Everett with his latest EP “Kennecott”. With lyrics born out of the artist’s frustration towards his inability to take in the beauty of his organic surroundings, the five-track offering takes listeners on the artist’s journey towards appreciating the wonders of the natural world. And, with the EP’s acoustics both stripped back and rudimentary in nature, Everett’s sorrowful vocals command attention and invoke a period of reflection in those who hear tracks such as “Still” and “Resolve”.

“I was frustrated with my own inability to absorb and fully appreciate beauty around me, and that led to a personal investigation into how we can experience awe more often,” explains Kennecott. “The resulting songs are very much about self-reflection and observation. While my first EP was largely about doubts, questions, and spirituality, this one feels broader.”

With the artist blending his experience as a college counsellor surrounded by the sights of Yosemite National Park and his knowledge of classical and jazz piano, he is able to produce work that is both inspired and technically impeccable. And, as a newcomer to the industry, Everett’s latest project stands as his next successful attempt to leave his mark on the musical map.

Head below to check out our interview with Hayden Everett…

Hey Hayden! We’re almost halfway through 2021, how has this year been for you?
Hey there, thanks so much for having me! I feel very fortunate to have had a wonderful start to the year. It feels so good to put this EP out in the world and it truly feels like a release. These songs are a documentation of what I’ve been thinking about and learning the past year, so allowing the world into that feels quite freeing.

With everything that happened last year, do you think your creativity was affected?
I think my creativity was actually heightened this past year. The extra time afforded me to create music that I believe has the capacity to impact people in some cool ways. I was also able to delve into other areas of the art in ways that I hadn’t before – the music videos, graphic designs, photos, symbols all feel possible by being forced to slow down. I was even able to write a choral arrangement of one of my songs.

You’re originally from San Diego, do you think growing up here impacted your sound in
any way?

I’m actually originally from the San Francisco area, but I’ve been living in San Diego the past year. Growing up backpacking in the Sierras, going on rock climbing trips with friends, and surfing in Santa Cruz all have certainly impacted my sound towards an outdoorsy and organic feel. During the production of the EP, our proximity to the ocean in San Diego definitely impacted the record as we were figuring out its sonic identity. I’d say California as a whole definitely makes its way into the sound – the mountains, ocean, and desert all feel like they have a piece in these songs.

How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
I started playing piano when I was 4 or 5 years old, and that quickly became a big piece of me. I began singing and writing songs as I grew up, and developed an interest in jazz. I’m not sure there was a particular moment where I made a decision, I always just knew being a musician and singer-songwriter was the only option for me. I ended up studying jazz piano performance in college at UCLA to continue honing the skill of crafting melodies.

And now you’ve just dropped your new project “Kennecott”, talk us through the production process and inspiration?
Yeah! I co-produced the EP with my good friend Adam Carpenter, much of it being pretty DIY between our little bedroom setups. We had so many amazing people contribute to this record from all over the world, which was another cool element that arose from the circumstances this year. A big part of the inspiration came from discovering the story of the abandoned Kennecott mines in Alaska. When I stumbled upon an album of black and white film photos of Kennecott from the 1930s, they became the central inspiration and almost a visual guide for the creation of the other songs.

New Noise: Hayden Everett With Streaks Of Light
New Noise: Hayden Everett Portrait
New Noise: Hayden Everett With Streaks Of Light
New Noise: Hayden Everett Portrait

The songs on the project are very much centred about being present in nature and becoming more self-aware, why did you choose to tap into these topics for the EP. How would you compare it to your previous self-titled project?
Those themes of presence were at the forefront of my mind throughout the year. I was frustrated with my own inability to absorb and fully appreciate beauty around me, and that led to a personal investigation into how we can experience awe more often. The resulting songs are very much about self-reflection and observation. While my first EP was largely about doubts, questions, and spirituality, this one feels broader. I also feel I’ve found my sonic identity a bit more!

Looking back on your most recent EP, what song means the most to you and why?
Hmmm, tough one. I think it changes around which is a good thing. But right now I’m loving “Still” and the sentiment of slowing down. It feels like the ‘how-to’ song of the album, and I’m certainly still guilty of not taking moments of stillness enough. So, if I’ve got a song about it, I kind of have no excuse when I don’t embody it – it keeps me in check.

What do you want people to take away from it?
I really hope the record compels people to be more observant of the beauty around them, in nature, but also in people and circumstances. I want people to spend more nights under the stars and outdoors because of these songs.

Now the project is here what is next for you? What are you most excited for?
I’m actually moving to Yosemite National Park area for the summer. I’m very excited to put these sentiments into practice. As a storyteller, I’m stoked to prioritize what fills me up in order to write more songs. Also quite excited to play these songs live for people very soon!

NEW NOISE: HAYDEN EVERETT

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