Abandoned Mine

by Chris Hayward

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WEBmadman Some nicely crafted songs, well produced for kicking back and chillin' Favorite track: Summer clothes.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A six-song EP in an attractive and budget-conscious cardboard sleeve, with artwork by Judith Pudden. The tracks on the CD differ slightly from the downloadable tracks; I've stitched some field recordings in between the songs.

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about

I started writing this record in Berlin, Germany, during a particularly cold winter there, the city encrusted with ice and dogshit as I schlepped my possessions from place to place, writing and recording. I finished writing it - and recorded most of it - over a winter in a farmhouse on a frozen lake near Bancroft, Ontario, a few minutes walk from the abandoned mine for which this EP is named.

I learned a lot of things the hard way that winter. I ran out of firewood in February, for example, and spent the time I wasn't recording scouring the woods for dead trees to cut down or cut up, and dragging them on a sled across the lake. I tried to capture something of the cold and the quiet of that place in the songs on this EP, even going as far as recording some of my vocal takes in the old mine.


When I listen back to them, I can hear that all of these songs are stories of loss, regret and solitude, but they also tip their hats to the things we can gain from our hard times: wisdom, compassion, a bit of grace, if we're lucky.

For a record with such an epic bummer of an inspiration, it's not that depressing. I swear, it's sometimes even downright cheerful.


Most of these songs were recorded in cabins, farmhouses, and churches - and one abandoned mine - around Bancroft; wherever I could lay my head or capture someone's performance. On the actual CD, I thread field recordings between the tracks, in an effort to tell the story of the places where this music was made, their freezing and then thawing out, and my arrivals and my leaving. I owe a great debt to the people of the area who lent me their space, and the musicians there who lent me their talent and encouragement. I hope my gratitude is audible.

credits

released December 5, 2012

Featuring Howard Baer, Christine Bougie, Graeme Donnelly, Lisa Didiodato, Caitlin Hayward, Jesse Hanna, Hannah Cheesman, Miriam Hookings, CT Rowe, Kymberley Redmond, and James Heidebrecht.

Recorded by Chris Stringer, John Dinsmore, and Chris Hayward.
Mixed by James Heidebrecht, Chris Cobain, and Chris Hayward.
Produced by Chris Hayward with help from Howard Baer.
Mastered by Fedge.

I would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and thank FACTOR for funding the recording of "Godspeed".

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about

Chris Hayward Maynooth, Ontario

I'm a carpenter in Maynooth, Ontario, who also sings and writes songs.

I write about loss and regret kind of a lot, but I keep it playful and sometimes even danceable. It's a mix of wholesome granola-punk, earnest singer-songwriterly ballads, heart-on-sleeve synthpop, and intimate rootsy strum-alongs.

Try it. It's good for you.
... more

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Track Name: When The Boiler Strikes
The kilns are cold, where these bricks were fired,
The plaster’s still breathing, but it’s getting tired,
We’re lonely as fuck, but we try to pass it off as pride.

And our eyelids are frozen shut with ice,
Like the windows here, all galvanized,
We wait in them anyway, hoping to get recognized.

When the boiler strikes, the whole building rings
The steam climbs up and the pipes all sing
We’re tuned somehow to that frequency,
So we hum in our sleep piously,

When the boiler strikes

We fill our pockets with pacifiers,
And wrap our heads in a shroud of wires,
So we don’t stray far off the leash of our sketchy desires.

And our irony is sincere,
We’re showing you our boiling hearts with it, dear,
You just gotta lean close enough to hear.

When the boiler strikes, the whole building rings
The steam climbs up and the pipes all sing
All at once, it’s a thousand songs,
And they’ll sing all night ‘til their throats are raw.

And the frozen street leans in to hear
That boiling choir of engineers.
Anonymous, all of them, but that’s all right,
The whole block is a church tonight,

When the boiler strikes

When the boiler strikes, the whole building rings,
And I scratch with my pencil until it stings
And for a minute or two, it’s all perfectly clear,
But we’ll wake up and forget we heard anything, dear.
Track Name: Hands in your pockets
You keep saying my songs aren’t ironic enough,
So here’s maybe something I can do.
If, for my sincere affection, this is an anti-biotic, my dear,
I hope it doesn’t sound any less true.

You say I decorate my room like a teenaged-boy would,
At least I don’t hang up any posters of cars.
I wrote you this song so I could seem a little more modern,
But the truth is I still like guitars.

And I like the way
You dance with your hands in your pockets.
And I like the way
You could tear my arms from their sockets.
If you wanna just stay home and read,
You know, baby, I can rock it.
If I’m getting a little too sincere,
Just tell me to stop it.
Yeah I like the way….

I’ll admit that I’m no good at irony,
And I realize now my pants are probably too wide,
But I was hoping that maybe I could sneak this in quietly,
And tell you that I don’t regret a single minute I spent by your side.

And I like the way
You dance with your hands in your pockets.
And I like the way
You could tear my arms from their sockets.
If you wanna just stay home and read,
You know, baby, I can rock it.
If I’m getting a little too sincere,
Just tell me to stop it.
Yeah I like the way,

I still like the way...
Track Name: Summer clothes
Summer Clothes (Chris Hayward)

As you put away your summer clothes,
and get ready for the brand new lows,
the ones that we all know, we all know,

Are coming in low and hard,
like a million glittering shards,
to bury you like a box of postcards,

Take everything that you can't keep,
put it in the soft, dark deep
where April wintersleeps,

And just to be safe,

Hide your quiet little bell out under the frozen lake.
Cause it's only just December, It's only just until
Spring comes and we remember, yeah we stumble out awake,
ready to give 'em hell, yeah ready to give 'er
ready to give again.

And just leave all your broken parts.
It's not that they're not worth keeping.
Oh no, they are, they are

Like a million glittering shards,
they'll blind you if you look too long.
They'll blind you if you stare too hard, too hard

So hide your quiet little bell out under the frozen lake.
Cause it's only just December, yeah it's only just until
Spring comes and we remember, just in time for the ice to break,
Those things we knew so well, before we had to ...

Hide this quiet little bell out under the frozen lake.
Cause it's only just December, yeah it's only just until
Spring comes and I remember, bout those promises I wanted to make,
and I'm ready and I can tell,

Yeah, I'm ready to come back.
Ready to come back.
Track Name: Song in my head
Song in My Head.

It's good enough that I knew you once,
though I'll probably not see you again.
You passed me once, with your radio on.
I've got your song now in my head.

I've got your song now in my head.

If banging here with us doesn't make you happy,
please go find something that will.
An old friend left late last night to remind me
we don't have that much time to kill.

Yeah, no one has much time to kill.

It's good enough that you wanted to,
and, who knows, someday now you might.
When you're done beating yourself up for not being done yet,
the moon and stars are out tonight.

Yeah, all your stars are out tonight.

Being just one you knew wasn't how I planned it.
Being one that you loved was what I thought instead.
Mostly now, i'm just glad we share the planet,
and sometimes I get your song in my head.

I've got your song now in my head.
Track Name: The good life
The Good Life.

It's been 18 months since I wrote it all down.
I knew I would be then, and now I'm gone.
But this has always only ever been a love song.

If I can say it in a minute i guess i should,
don't hold too tight, cause this could be good.
This could be the good life.
This could be the good life.

In case i fucked it up, I'll say it again.
I wouldn't be here now, if you hadn't held my hand.
And I like where I am.

This could be the good life.

I'm with you despite all my leaving,
with you when your heart is screaming
for every piece it can feel is missing.

And every tear that arcs and glistens
says "shut your mouth, my dear, and listen."
that beating in your ear means remember the mission.
Remember the mission.

Remember, all the things we know can't last,
let 'em fall like broken glass.
They're what sparkles on the road when we look back.

This could be the good life.

This might already be a good life.
Track Name: Godspeed
Godspeed, godspeed, safe home,
I know that you’ll chase those bright lights,
The light I’m chasing is another kind,
It’s the kind you chase alone.

I know that your heart beat true,
It just wasn’t the loudest sound in your ear.
If we don’t walk together any further,
I’m glad that we got each other here,
yeah, I'm glad that we got each other here.

Godspeed, godspeed, safe home,
I know that you’ll chase those bright lights,
The light I’m chasing is another kind,
It’s the kind you chase alone.

So walk just as far as you need to,
I won’t be that far behind.
You might think you burned your bridges right down to the river bed,
But the river, my dear, didn’t mind, oh no,
the river, my dear, didn't mind.

Godspeed, godspeed, safe home,
I know that you’ll chase those bright lights,
The light I’m chasing is another kind,
It’s the kind you chase alone.

Yeah the light I'm chasing is another kind.
It's the kind you chase alone.