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Hayden is back – but will he do interviews? Add to ...

The Mumbling Mope of Roncesvalles is back – with a new album and record-label relationship, and with fresh aspirations replacing old ones.

The much beloved folk-pop troubadour Hayden Desser, rarely seen outside his west-end Toronto stomping grounds, has just released a song (Old Dreams, downloadable free at www.rollingstone.com) that signals an imminent return to daylight.

Hayden, as he is known professionally, came into public consciousness with the release of his 1996 debut Everything I Long For, a record characterized by off-handed, nice-guy love lore. More recently, he failed to support 2009’s The Place Where We Lived with concerts or interviews.

“I’ve definitely made a few promotional missteps,” he concedes in a press release. His forthcoming Us Alone (out Feb. 19) is his seventh full-length album, and the first on Toronto uber-indie label Arts & Crafts. Old Dreams is a silvery, haunting piano ballad, with murmured lines such as “All I want is you to be happy.” His fans, surely, wish much the same in return.

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