Hayley Marsten Shares Her 5 Classic Records
QLD country-pop artist, Hayley Marsten has just revealed her brand new single, Bittersweet At Best. It follows her previous 2022 release, I’m Fine, Thanks and her 2021 single, Drowning Myself. To celebrate the and to get to know Haley a little better, today she has shared with us her five favourite classic records.
Taylor Swift, Red: I have been a Taylor fan since I heard ‘Teardrops on My Guitar’ as a frizzy haired 13 year old. But Red has always hit me as a masterpiece. When it was released back in 2012, I was not heartbroken but I remember driving home from getting my CD version at my hometown Sainity and hearing the first chorus of ‘All Too Well’ and feeling like I was smack bang in the middle of the story. A few years ago Rollingstone named it on one of their top albums of all time and discussed what made it so great. For me it was summed up by the fact that this is Taylor showing you everything in her wheelhouse, she can be country singer (Begin Again), she can be a pop girl (We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together), she can make stadium ready rock (State of Grace), take massive risks (I Knew You Were Trouble) or just completely transcend genre (All Too Well is it’s own genre at this point). Last year when she re-released it, with the vault tracks and 10 Minute All Too Well it was just as special. Taylor is my ultimate songwriting and cross genre inspiration and I feel so lucky to have been able to experience my favourite album get released not once but twice!
Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour: I bought Kacey’s first record ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’ on a whim when it first came out, I had seen or heard of her briefly somewhere and I was obsessed with it from the first listen. And honestly, I could put all of her records in this list but that would be very fan-girl of me. I had always admired her songwriting and I think my writing style is much more similar to her first two albums but Golden Hour felt like I was seeing a brand new way to express country music. The way that she weaved the Americana darling style of her previous albums with sparkling synths and pop sensibilities and it just made such perfect sense, eventhough it shouldn’t have, blew my mind. I think of it as a gateway drug to country music (and I feel like Kacey would be more than ok with being called that!), so many of my friends who would probably never consider themselves a country fan love this album. Slow Burn still remains one of my favourite album openers of all time and Golden Hour is still as shiny to me as it was on release.
Shania Twain, Come on Over: One of my earliest memories is watching the Man! I Feel Like a Woman music video come on Rage when I was 4 years old. I was at a family friends house in the lounge room while the adults were outside and I remember thinking I don’t even care that everyone can see me I want to dance to this! Shania has been a constant in my life, my parents both loved her and we listened to ‘Come on Over’, over and over and over. To this day anything that is leopard print is called ‘a bit Shania’. ‘Come on Over’ doens’t just feel like a normal album it almost reads like a greatest hits, out of the 16 tracks 12 of them were singles! I just watched her new documentary on Netfix ‘Not Just a Girl’ and was totally re-inspired by her. The way that she totally pushed the boundaries of country music and was so confident in what she wanted and totally backed herself is so incredibly inspiring. Not to mention the way she championed and inspired an entire generation of young women, myself included.
HAIM, Women in Music Part III: When I was a hard core country only listener in my University days (a risk to give me the aux cord at a party back then) my friend Cody told me I should really listen to a song called ‘The Wire’ by an all sister band called HAIM. I was hooked! And while I liked their previous two albums, Women in Music Part III is the ultimate HAIM record for me. I love the grit and the grunge of The Steps, the production and the crazy guitar solo on Up From a Dream that feels like its made of pure sparkles and the no fucks given Man From The Magazine that I feel like is the perfect explanation of what it’s like sometimes to be a women in the music industry.
Carole King, Tapestry I feel like Carol King is an artist my parents should’ve imparted onto me and we should’ve had this record playing as much as Shania. But alas, I was deprived of this record until I was 22 and I watched Gilmore Girls for the first time. The theme song is a revised version of Where You Lead that features Carole and her daughter Louise Goffin, that they recorded specifically for the TV Show. I listened to ‘Tapestry’ on and off after my Gilmore introduction but it wasn’t until I bought it for myself on vinyl for Chrismtas one year that I feel like I became truly obsessed. And not in a wanky vinyl makes it sound better way more that it felt like an experience, putting the record on, having a glass of wine and just listening. Rather than doing something else and having it in the background. Now it hangs in my loungeroom as an art piece among a lot of these other records and reminds me of the kind of album I’m trying to make.