This is kind of a “best of both worlds” situation for me. I have been loving Hayden James’ music for quite some time now, so I was thinking he would be a perfect edition to Ones To Watch. THEN, today, he decided to release a whole new album. Previously, he had only a few singles, some remixes, and a baby EP. So, here I am, listening for the first time and writing an AUTHENTIC review of his music. In my last album review, I had listened to it weeks prior, and based my opinion on their previous work. In this case, I only have a handful of songs, most of which are debuted on this new album as well.
So why do I think he’s an artist to watch? His music has beats that make you want to party by the pool all day, combined with lyrics that sometimes make you sit and say, “Wow. I’ve been attacked.” Which is totally a good thing. That means he is making relatable content that you can sing your heart out to, if you have any oxygen left from dancing. Let’s talk about some songs that were out in the world before this album. The reasons I became a fan, and the reasons I believe he’s going to be popping on Top 40 charts soon.
The first song I had ever heard by him was actually a remix. I heard ODESZA remix “Something About You”, which lead me to wonder who he really was. The crazy thing is, the different effect both songs have on me. When hearing the ODESZA remix, it gives me some sort of nostalgia that gives me a little lump in my throat. However, when I go and listen to the actual version of the song, it makes me feel super relaxed. The type of feeling you get when you’re just laying by the pool tanning. By now, this song is probably pretty popular, due to the fact that the remix blew it off the charts. However, if you haven’t already heard, I suggest listening to both, and deciding which one you like better! That single came out in 2015, and it looked like he had released one single per year since then, until 2018. He released a whopping TWO. However, these two are probably my favorite songs on this planet, not to be dramatic or anything. Starting with the song, “Just Friends.” This song was released toward the end of 2018, and for some reason it REALLY spoke to me. At this time, I was boy drama free and had no reason to particularly relate to it…yet. If you were to ask me if I can relate to the song now, I’d tell you to mind your business. This song is just everything. I don’t even know how to use proper terms to describe it. At the time it came out, I would play it on repeat 24/7, not listening to anything else. Now that I don’t do that anymore, whenever it comes on shuffle, it feels like a jolt of electricity. Just hearing the beginning I think, “Oh shit, here we go.” The lyrics are so self explanatory that I don’t even think it’d be necessary for me to talk further about it. JUST GO LISTEN TO IT OKAY?
Now, let’s get into the build up of the album today. Then, we’re going to tear it apart. For some reason, I like to think that 2019 just started. That’s how fast it’s blowing by. So, while I was listening to Gryffin Radio, a bomb station that curates music based off that one artist’s style, I found a new gem. It’s called “Nowhere To Go.” When I first heard it in my bathroom, I was STOKED to find out it was by Hayden James. I knew it had to be relatively new, but when? How did I miss this? Turns out, he just released it in May. I wasn’t missing out for too long. This song has been my obsession lately. It lyrically has almost a similar vibe to “Just Friends,” but a little bit different. That was his last single before today, June 14th, when he blessed my ears this morning.
He kicks off the album with a voice I recognize immediately, Boy Matthews. The beautiful voice on “Just Friends.” The awesome thing about this album is there aren’t any real slow songs to kill my vibe. Lately, I’ve been wanting something upbeat that will keep me going throughout the day, not put me to sleep. Who am I kidding, that’s ALWAYS how I’ve been. I can appreciate a good slow song from time to time, don’t get me wrong. However, it is unique to have an artist come up with all upbeat stuff, that lyrically is amazing too. The album is filled with his singles he’s released this past year, but the new songs are just as exciting. I think my favorite on this new album would have to be “Hold Me Back,” which is his album kick off. Sometimes, the first song on an album can be hit or miss.
Overall, I think Hayden James is going to be a real hit on the more dreamy side of the House Music charts. While he does have 2 million monthly listeners, I still feel like he belongs on a Ones To Watch. I just don’t hear his name as much as I should. However, not to toot my own horn, but I am usually the one who presents new names to my friends. I also don’t see him on as many release radars as he deserves. So here he is! If you haven’t heard of him, now you have. As always, I am leaving a little playlist radio down below. So, if you’re lazy, you don’t have to go far to listen to him. Or, if you don’t have Spotify, this is your chance to download. Honestly Spotify, sponsor me already. #AD