Eliza Hull ft. Hayden Calnin

24 September 2012

Backyard, Melbourne


Sometimes people meet for reasons unbeknownst to them at the time.  This one was musical.  The above video should explain.

When co-founder and producer of Large Noises, Eliza Hull contacted Hayden Calnin, she was interested in organising to film and record him playing his heart wrenching track, Summer (and we did – you can view it here)The idea that just six months later I would be asking her if we could film a collaboration between the two ground breaking young artists probably wasn’t something she really considered.  Let’s just say I might have scouted our talent scout.

Intrigued by Hayden Calnin’s unique sound, Eliza Hull placed herself in the audience at one of his gigs with the intention of asking him to participate in an intimate recording with the Large Noises crew.  Blown away by his performance, not only did she enquire about the shoot – but she also asked him to be the support at one of her residency shows at The Evelyn Hotel. Which I went to by the way, and it was pretty damn amazing.

The musical chemistry between Eliza and Hayden is natural; like puzzle pieces, like when you clear four lines at once in Tetris, like all the metaphors that don’t yet exist.  Shortly after meeting, Eliza went to Hayden’s home studio in Collingwood and sung Ghosts for him – a song written about ridding her ghosts, letting the past sleep and focusing on the present.  Within hours, Hayden had already recorded Eliza’s vocals – experimenting with different locations in his house.  With just stripped back keys and limited production, it was the simplicity of the song that resonated with me.

I was lucky enough to hear an early recording of Ghosts in February after we filmed Hayden’s clip of Summer.  I left with a combination of Hayden’s “Don’t you worry now” (lyrics from Summer) combined with Eliza’s haunting, “Where did you go? Where did you go?” stuck in my head, itching to hear some sort of epic mashup.

With an ear or two for production, Hayden added beats, synths and a collaborative chant into Ghosts – a layer of complexity that builds up towards the end of the song.

Standing in cameraman Sam’s backyard, I watched Eliza and Hayden singing together, with Large Noises soundman extraordinaire Jono on keys (and recording), while cameraman Sam and Jeremy filmed.  I must say, it was a bit of a collaborative dream come true.  We did keep it quite “in house” for this shoot; and it was worth every pixel.

You can download a copy of “Ghosts” here at triple j Unearthed.  You can watch Hayden pour his heart out live at the Northcote Social Club on 25 October 2012. We’ll be there, front and centre.

Words by Charlotte Abroms.