John Haydon's 5th and most recent release "Phantom Heart" is an achingly beautiful and haunting exploration of the dark, hidden realms of the heart and the happiness found in love. The listener can't help but feel that Haydon has transformed a very personal dark night of the soul into a bitter-sweet collection of songs that shine with ageless beauty. Fans will be interested to know that two thirds of the songs were written as "hidden-message love letters" during the formation of a band with another songwriter that he fell in love with (a short documentary about the album called "Song Stories" will be available at www.johnhaydon.com
). The songs resonate with poetic sensibility and naked honesty conjuring up the ghosts of Leonard Cohen, Neil young and John Lennon.
For the past 13 years, Haydon has been developing an honest and direct, yet refined songwriting voice. Each song is a balancing see-saw with loneliness and despair on one end and hope and determination on the other end. His previous record "She's Gone" (on iTunes) was released in 2002 and received rave reviews in major music publications in the Northeast.
His musical styles have gone from Pop Rock to Alt-County to Singer/Songwriter to Minimalist Folk reflecting influences that include Badly Drawn Boy, Neil Young, Galaxy 500, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash. However, the essential constant thread in his music is what one fan calls "courageous vulnerability". John adds, "Artists like Leonard Cohen, Gram Parsons and Neil Young have always been mentors to me in how they put honesty before anything else in their music. If I can get one thing right, it would be being honest and naked in my music".
No effort was spared making this record. John hand-picked Boston's best including Russell Chudnofsy (Lori McKenna), Mike Piehl (Chris Smither), Steve Chaggaris (Ken Clark Organ Trio /The Soul Band) and Margaret Garrett (Mr. Airplane Man). All the songs were recorded at Moontower Studio, Woolly Mammoth Studio and his home studio in Massachusetts. The masterful Pete Weiss (Bow Thayer, Ramona Silver, Lucky 57) mixed everything at Verdant Studio. Finally, John Lipton (Magnetic Fields, Big Star, Jess Klein, Sebadoh) at Peerless mastered the disc.