Hayley Jensen has spent the best part of two decades honing her craft and collaborating with the best in the business from across the globe. She became a household name after becoming a finalist on Australian Idol, and later The Voice in 2014, where she was described as ‘the whole package’ by coach Kylie Minogue.
After self-releasing her first #1 iTunes Country album Past Tense & Present Peace in 2007, Hayley released her ARIA #3 Australian Country Album, Turning Up The Dial in 2018. The record was the 3rd highest selling Australian Country Album according to ARIA, and the 2nd highest selling digital album on iTunes Country charts. Her next album, Breakin’ Hearts is due for release later this year, featuring the single of the same name, pop-country bop Fireworks, upbeat Just Gonna Party and the swampy, soulful Karma – which peaked at #2 on the Countrytown Music Network Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart.
We caught up with Hayley to find out what songs she’s listening to for this week’s Front Deck Boom Box.
Jessica Mitchell – Maybe It’s Me
I first heard Jessica’s voice when I was out walking on a ‘Country Coffeehouse’ style playlist and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I went searching for more and fell in love with her album Heart of Glass. I have listened to it on repeat so many times – every song is brilliant, so rare these days. So hard to choose just one song as together they tell such a strong story, but I’ll choose her latest single, Maybe It’s Me. It starts so delicate and builds to a passionate, dynamic moving masterpiece. The music video is incredibly moving and gives me goosebumps. But then again, so does the whole record. Trisha Yearwood recently covered her song Workin’ on Whiskey.
AJAYE – Growing Up
Another Canadian singer-songwriter. I listened to this song on repeat about 10 times when I first heard it. It delves into the highs and lows of love and life and yep, growing up – I could see my life flashing before my eyes in the lyrics. The storytelling – so powerful. The production – so delicate. The drone style bass line that comes in through the choruses literally feels like it picks you up and carries your emotions gently through that part of the song. AJAYE wrote this song with Jodi Delaurier, who I co-wrote my latest single Karma with.
Dakota East – Runaway
Really dig this song. Another that I had to look up as soon as I heard it on a Playlist. Definitely straddles the border between indie/synth-pop and country-pop, but it’s super cool. Somehow reminiscent of a Fleetwood Mac vibe. You could initially be fooled into thinking it’s just another pop song, but then there’s this little breakdown section at around 2:45 … the way it unexpectedly comes back in is mint, and the movement in the bass line is epic. Love Dakota’s voice too. Great tune, pushing boundaries.
Chris Stapleton – You Should Probably Leave
Chris could sing the phone book and it would sound amazing. I just love the warmth and grit of his voice. I absolutely love his cover of Tennessee Whiskey. So much emotion, so soulful. I love the gorgeous harmonies from his wife, Morgane, throughout his songs too. They add such colour and dimension. This song moves along like a train on a track and makes me want to have a little dance. Love the organic production too.
Dan Davidson – Roll With It (feat. The Road Hammers)
Three of my fav Canadian buddies co-wrote this smash: Dan, Clayton Bellamy and Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers. Such a catchy tune that immediately gets stuck in your head, with such a great message. I had the chance to co-write with Clayton and Jason when I was in Canada performing at Calgary Stampede, and they later introduced me to Dan who’s a brilliant songwriter and producer in his own right and we’ve been working together since. We’ve even got a fun collab of our own coming out soon (you heard it here first!) – so stay tuned!