Premiere: Hayden Calnin Finds Closure & a Fresh Start in “Fuck Collingwood”

Hayden Calnin © Emma McEvoy
Hayden Calnin’s intimate and emotional new single “Fuck Collingwood” is the artist’s cathartic closure on a decade of his life in the Melbourne suburb.
“Fuck Collingwood” & “Late” – Hayden Calnin

Despite his new song’s title, Hayden Calnin isn’t bitter about the past; everyone reaches that point where it’s time to move on. Change comes with seasons’ passing, and eventually each of us must close the chapter on who, what and where we’ve been, in order to make a fresh start somewhere new, as someone new. Intimate and emotional, “Fuck Collingwood” is Hayden Calnin’s cathartic closure on a decade spent in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb: A poignant, graceful unraveling of memory and sound reflecting on a pivotal slice of life that is definitively in the rearview.

Fuck Collingwood - Hayden Calnin

Fuck Collingwood – Hayden Calnin

We’re uneasy now come lately
Took you to see my family
But I don’t know if you’re true.
See now we’ve crossed a line
where what’s yours is also mine.
Don’t think I thought this through.
Am I talking in my sleep?
Who’s even here to tell me?
Guess I’m here alone.
So then I make a call,
talk bullshit on the phone.
I’m useless some days, I know.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Fuck Collingwood,” the lead single off Hayden Calnin’s forthcoming Nettwerk Records debut, A Life You Would Choose (out September 13, 2019). Backed with the ethereal instrumental song “Late,” “Fuck Collingwood” delivers a powerfully raw vision of distress through Calnin’s familiar, beautiful “folktronic” style.

Previously described in Atwood Magazine as “a masterful storyteller and sound sculptor whose music reaches unparalleled depths of emotion and humanity,” Hayden Calnin is no stranger to intimate performance. The Australian singer/songwriter and producer has been making waves ever since his debut EP City brought a new perspective to silence in 2012. Calnin’s debut double-album Cut Love Pts. I and II (released in March and May 2016 respectively) delivered an hour and a half’s worth of breathtaking musical immersion; these records were followed a year later by the stellar Dirt EP, which “digs into the core of human emotion to produce a project that mourns, hopes, and howls with splendor.”

Calnin has kept busy in the two years since Dirt‘s release, expanding his repertoire as a collaborator and producer. In addition to producing with fellow Australian artists Didirri, Harrison Storm and Woodlock, Calnin recently teamed up with Dustin Tebbutt, LANKS, and Xavier Dunn to form the “indie supergroup” (and Atwood Editor’s Pick) Ok Moon (Calnin dotingly refers to this as his “boy band”). While Ok Moon’s songs “Loved You Right” and “Harpoon” contain enough of the artist’s influence to tide fans over, nothing compares to the volatile tranquility of a fully fleshed-out Hayden Calnin song.

We’re undressed now,
fucking on the floor.
The door’s still left ajar,
guess I’m not staying over,
guess there’s no cup of tea;
I’m finding it hard to leave
cause this comfort’s comforting me.
Hayden Calnin © Emma McEvoy

Hayden Calnin © Emma McEvoy

Opening out of a cool, ambient calm with dulcet, mellow piano notes, “Fuck Collingwood” focuses listener attention on Calnin’s song and the story it tells. The 29-year-old sings a distant memory with increasing intensity, bringing to life the aches and pains of a rocky relationship: “We’re uneasy now come lately, took you to see my family, but I don’t know if you’re true,” he sings at the start, diving deeper and deeper into feelings of solitude, loneliness, loss, and disconnect until there’s nothing left to say but “Fuck Collingwood.”

So I walk.
I’m in some alley that’s all pissed in
From a Friday night out
drinking in Collingwood

Do you wonder how I’m doing?
Half way in or half way through it?
Fuck Collingwood.

Calnin reportedly left his longtime home of Collingwood behind earlier this year, relocating an hour(ish) south to Shoreham on the Mornington Peninsula. “I’d been living in and around Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, for the last 10 years,” Hayden Calnin tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s such an incredible place, full of live music and art, however it got to a point where I really just needed to get away from it. I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, and finally I’d left it. ‘Fuck Collingwood’ is reflecting on the things that led me to leave the city for something a little less chaotic.”

He adds, “I’m at a place in my career where I can choose who I want to be, and I can’t wait to show everyone all my new ideas and future work.”

Who are you gonna love?
I’m in some alley that’s all pissed in
From a Friday night out drinking in Collingwood
Do you wonder how I’m doing?
Half way in or half way through it?
Fuck Collingwood.

The end of one chapter heralds the opening of the next. “Fuck Collingwood” is a cathartic fuck you farewell to the city in which Hayden Calnin honed his talents and first shared them with the world; a city that wore him out and broke him down, until it was finally time for him to leave it behind for greener pastures. “Fuck Collingwood” bears an impregnable weight on its shoulders, and yet it’s not angry, nor is it resentful. Calnin’s final words, sung in distress, offer insight into the relief he feels to be away: Who you gonna love?

Leaving one home for another means saying goodbye to the ghosts of your past. It is, by definition, a cutting of ties and a fresh start – a welcome reset. “Fuck Collingwood” closes the door on the past as Hayden Calnin turns to face his future and the wellspring of potential surrounding not only his enchanting solo career, but also his work with Ok Moon and more.

I’m gonna take the long way home,
chuck on some Leif and feel the hold
of the open road.
Get to bed and feel the spin
of dumb choices you’ve put yourself in.
In Collingwood
Who you gonna love?

Stream Hayden Calnin’s “Fuck Collingwood” and the ambient instrumental track “Late” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from  Hayden Calnin in the months to come: A Life You Would Choose is out September 13, 2019 via Nettwerk Records!

“Fuck Collingwood” & “Late” – Hayden Calnin

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Fuck Collingwood - Hayden Calnin

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📸 © Emma McEvoy

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com