Sometimes it’s hard not to write about artists and albums without using tired adjectives and metaphors. Sometimes it’s easy to just lean on previously printed sentiment and move on. But sometimes it isn’t easy, sometimes there’s more to the story, and more to the music.
It really feels like this is one of those times.
Andrew Hyatt isn’t new to the country music scene in Ontario or Canada. Country fans know him from his radio singles, That’s How I’m Living, MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), and his most recent release, the CMT featured, She Ain’t You. Those who have listened know that Andrew is the real deal, that he’s got the voice to back up the songs and the songs to connect with listeners. And those who have seen him on stage know that he’s not a studio creation.
And now, with the release of his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, Andrew Hyatt seems ready to show more people, open more eyes, and put himself in a brighter spotlight.
The disc (or download, or stream) offers 12 tracks, moving smoothly from top to bottom, and telling stories that are all too relatable. Hyatt isn’t just singing about girls and beer and pickup trucks. He’s not just selling promises of good times and sunshine. He’s telling stories that feel real. These are songs that will allow you to close your eyes and either remember a time in your life, or create a movie in your head of what this thing might look like. This album is complete, not just because it features 12 tracks and not four, but because it completes a journey, it takes its time with you, and it gives you everything it’s got. Yes, it would be awesome if there were another six songs tacked on the end, but nobody is going to feel cheated when the acoustic cut of She Ain’t You finishes playing.
We’ve had the chance recently to talk to, and about, Andrew more than once. We saw him live twice during Canadian Music Week, where he poured it all out, sweating and singing and slaying on stage – and we gladly told stories about those sets. We also had the opportunity to help feature Andrew Hyatt as the Country Music Association of Ontario’s Artist of the Month for May 2017. Telling a little bit more about where he’s from, the work he’s put in, and how far we think he can go.
But this post isn’t about that. It’s about telling you that Andrew Hyatt has a collection of songs on Iron & Ashes that deserve to be heard, played, replayed, sung along to, and listened to in silence. There’s no wrong way to consume this record. It isn’t one dimensional. Like we said, it connects.
Iron & Ashes Tracklist
1. That’s How I’m Living
2. MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio)
3. She Ain’t You – Band Version
4. Girl I Do
5. Can’t Win ‘Em All
6. Goodbye Gone
7. Running On Empty
8. We Only Kiss On Sundays
9. Most Of Me
10. On Me
11. Laid Back Easy
12. She Ain’t You
We don’t grade albums, we don’t give out stars, we don’t put our thumbs up or down – but we do recommend music that we like, and that we think you’ll like.
This is that music. It passes our subjective tests, and we believe that it’s worthy of your time and attention.
We also think that Andrew Hyatt is a star in the making, a name that you’re going to get used to hearing, and a good dude on top of that.
We had the chance to catch up with Mr. Hyatt to ask him about the album, playing live, and cover bands – and while we didn’t ask him to rank himself as a social thinker, deep drinker, good time chaser or, good love maker, we may have to the next time we catch him.
Thanks to Andrew for his time and his answers. Check out the Q&A now, and hit play on the stream to listen to Iron & Ashes.
Q. If you could use 1 word to describe the feeling of Iron & Ashes
coming out, what would it be?
Q. Did you have a goal or theme in mind when you were writing the songs
for the album?
AH. I had been going through a lot of changes in my personal life and I really needed to write it down.
There was a quote by Leo Tolstoy that says: “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”
That sort of set me in the direction of writing the record and how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.
Q. She Ain’t You grabbed a lot of people’s attention. What do you think
it is about that song that connects with people?
AH. Honestly it’s relatable. I got really vulnerable and honest on that song.. people connect because they’ve all lived it.
Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a stripped down set?
AH. I love being able to tell the stories and let people in a little more on the intimacy of the songs.
Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a set with the full band?
AH. The energy of standing in stage with some of your best friends is amazing. Before shows, no matter how tired we are we always remind each other that at 65 (if we make it) we will be wishing for it !
Q. If you were going to front a cover band, who would you be covering?
AH. I’d be in an Alan Jackson cover band just so I could grow a duster and water ski in jeans!
Note: If you don’t know what Andrew’s talking about, click this link -> https://youtu.be/JW5UEW2kYvc
Q. In 25 words or less, describe what Iron & Ashes is to you as an album?
AH. Most of this record I was given the opportunity to just make music and put it out… it’s scary but I’m proud of the end result.
And proud he should be.
Listen to Andrew Hyatt’s Iron & Ashes now…