By: Amanda Epstein
Hayden Joseph just released his album Different. He is a country singer with big dreams; not just for himself, but for the country music industry as a whole. Country music male singers as a whole have shifted into singing about beer, trucks and women. Hayden is bringing back the country that tells stories and is universal. Songs that can be sung from anyone’s perspective and that are relatable. As an out member of the LGBTQ+ community, the songs he writes are seen as “too feminine” for a male to sing, but that is the stereotype he is trying to break. Taking inspiration from the performers of the 90’s and early Taylor Swift, Hayden wants to turn the tide and bring country music back to its story-telling days.
This debut album takes listeners on a journey. The songs on this album span a long stretch of his life. He started writing these songs at 14 and wrote the last one at age 25. Starting with the title track, “Different”, he sings about being different than everyone else. His incredible songwriting skills come to light with this one. While he writes the song from a very personal place, the listener can take his words and relate it to whatever is making them feel different. It’s an empowering song when he sings that “different ain’t a bad thing to be”. The emotions come through clearly in his voice as he sings this melodic tune.
The rest of the album is peppered with slow and more upbeat jams. “You’ll Come Around” will have your toes tapping before “19 & Cryin’” brings you back to heartfelt melodies and lyrics. There are three versions of this song on the album; the original, a stripped down version and a pop version. Something for everyone.
"The Way I See You" is the love song we didn't know we needed. He puts a new spin on the saying "If you could see yourself the way I see you". Sometimes we get so wrapped in our thoughts and feelings that we forget there are people who see us in bright lights.
One of the most powerful tracks, in my opinion, is “Let The Radio Remember”. Music is a powerful entity that can bring emotions and memories flooding back. Listening to a certain song can unearth memories and feelings long forgotten, or bring you back to a specific moment in time.
Hayden is an artist to watch. He is going to go far and bring country music back to its roots.