After the release of two critically acclaimed, yet underappreciated works of Americana-tinged folk – 2008’s Nothing Stays The Same and 2012’s A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday – Moncton musician Jason Haywood went back to the drawing board for his latest album, Folklore.
Eschewing the singer-songwriter vibe that largely dominated his previous two releases, Haywood brought a considerably more sinister monster to the surface with Folklore, employing a third-party narrative that spins dark tales from a bygone era.
Performing in the rustic confines of Parkindale Hall on Saturday evening, Haywood says Folklore isn’t quite as lyrically straightforward as his previous two albums, but notes making the album was a refreshing change of pace.
“Lyrically, the record album is more verbose than anything I’ve done in the past,” Haywood says. “I was looking to push myself from a creative standpoint.”
Drawing inspiration from Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, among others, Haywood says the darker undercurrent of Folklore, its examination of the eternal fight between good and evil, while also peering into topics like obsession, heartbreak, and more, is something he had considered pursuing for quite some time.
“I wasn’t sure if the album would appeal to the same demographic that might have tuned in to my earlier records, but how the record would be received wasn’t really a consideration when I was making it.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, audience reaction to his newest album has been virtually unanimous in its praise. While the subject matter covered may hinder the record from shooting up the pop charts anytime soon, Haywood acknowledges that feedback has been largely positive.
“As an independent artist, it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed, but the reception I have received has been good,” he says. “In one sense, music is a savagely competitive and crowded marketplace, but I feel as though the tide is turning for the better when it comes to live shows at least. People seem to be a little more willing to come out to shows, which is encouraging because things weren’t looking so great on that front for a period of time.”
Asked why he feels live shows are appealing to audiences again, Haywood suggests people have always remained open to attending, but feels they are in search of an experience that fits their lifestyle.
“In much the same way that people consume music through their phones and online, attending live shows comes down to personal preference for some. They might be in search of that ‘perfect’ show scenario that will get them to bed at a decent time, or one that gives them the opportunity to get up close and personal with the artist. I think people want to support live music when they can, but they also want it on their terms to a certain extent, which is completely understandable.”
Although it took Haywood the better part of five years to finally release Folklore, he admits he’s looking to shorten the time between releases considerably next time around. He shares he is already in the thinking stages of his next record, and has a handful of songs already waiting to be recorded.
“Ideally, I’d like to get something out in the next 18 months to two years,” he says. “A little too much time passed between releases last time.”
What: Jason Haywood
When: Saturday Sept. 30, 8 p.m.
Where: Parkindale Hall, 3434 Route 895, Parkindale
Tickets are $10, available at the door