Watch our interview with Hayden James!
Acclaimed Sydney producer Hayden James has blessed us all with the release of his hotly-anticipated sophomore album, LIFTED. We caught up with the musician to chat about the release, the evolution of his practice, performing live and so much more.
Having begun working on the album in late 2020, the producer had one thought in mind whilst making the record; to bring people together once again and unite through music. Enlisting Boo Seeka, Jem Cooke, SIDEPIECE, YAEGER, Tudor, Xavier Dunn, Elderbrook and Cassian across the collection of songs, the record is set to capture the energy of James' live shows, made complete with lush production and captivating vocal textures.
Serving as a message of hope at the end of a lengthy two years, the energetic collection of songs captures the electric energy of the musicians live show, inspired by his longing to return to return to the stage and create shared experiences. Threading a message of positivity throughout, songs across the record serve as a to hold on to each other through life's harder times, and to be true to yourself. Bringing together his own holy trinity of house influences, piano-house, melodic house and deep house across the body of work, LIFTED presents itself as a curated body of work that will lift your spirits.
Opening with Lights Go Down, the records latest single and collaboration with SIDEPIECE, James sets the scene for the engaging sonic ride that is to follow, laced with infectious melodies and that will have you on your feet. The albums title track brings notes of 90s era house, before his collaboration with Elderbrook and Cassian, Hold Tight, takes a more classic approach, heralded by exhilarated synths, piano stabs and classic house chords. Elsewhere, Elderbrook's dreamy vocals atop frenzied synth lines in On Your Own, building to euphoric vocal melodies throughout the chorus.
Fade strips the production right back, with vocals built purely upon drums, bass and synths. Arpeggiating synths lead the albums closer I Won’t Let You Down, offering up the albums most emotional moment. Serving as an ode to a dear friend of the musicians who has passed on, the track is an uplifting cut about being a good parent and being there for your family. The song ends with recordings of the musicians children's laughter, sparsely woven in to the atmospheric soundscape.
To celebrate the release, the musician is hitting the road on an Australian and New Zealand tour. Kicking off at Brisbane's Fortitude Music Hall on August 12, the run of shows will continue on to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney, before travelling to Auckland on September 17. Along for the ride is LIFTED guest artist and collaborators Boo Seeka and Melbourne/Naarm-based producer, vocalist and DJ, Memphis LK.
LIFTED is due out now!