Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Hayden Thorpe is deep in thought as I talk to him over the phone. Despite it being a Friday evening, and with only a short time allocated to talk, Hayden is in no rush. With every question asked, Hayden takes a moment to carefully consider his answer. It’s a philosophy that carries over into his blossoming discography.
His fifteen-year stint in the indie rock band Wild Beasts saw Hayden collaborate and, in-turn, produce a heady-mix of some truly captivating music through Domino Records that has undoubtedly left a sonic legacy. Whilst being in the band blessed Thorpe and his bandmates with a plethora of success, memories and friendships, the realities of band life finally took their toll. “For want of a better word, it was like living in a cult at times. Fifteen years in a band can really leave you toying with your sense of self. Whilst in many ways you are connected, you aren’t a family. With that said, I am grateful for those years, it gave me the crucial task of constantly working on my craft”.
After leaving the band, Thorpe set to work on his solo career with the release of ‘Diviner’, an album that was written in its entirety during the latter moments of his time with Wild Beasts. The album was symbolic of a testing but equally imperative time from the Kendal-born musician, translating as an untangling process from Wild Beasts. For the majority of his time as a musician, Thorpe would intensely collaborate with those in his vicinity, bouncing all ideas off his bandmates. Whilst initially daunting, Thorpe now relishes the challenge of being a solo artist: “It taught me that my ideas were enough, to trust my thoughts and run with them”.
The remarkable debut was met with critical acclaim, seeing him tour all over, whilst supporting world-class acts such as Jon Hopkins along the way. Two years on he has another offering, ‘Moondust For My Diamond’, which he says draws from a conceptual reservoir with influences ranging from “the meeting point between science and religion, the grand struggle for reality that shapes so much of our time.” It’s a spectacular release that rivals, if not stands out from, his previous work. Thorpe is leaving a lasting legacy that stands testament to the act of taking risks, accepting yourself, and using music as a tool to speak out on the issues that matter most in society.
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‘Moondust For My Diamond’ is out now.
Words: Josh Crowe
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