Ted Hajnasiewicz’s new single “If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow” drives straight to the heart of the same deeply spiritual vein running through a lifetime of songwriting. His Midwestern bred wont for Americana never sounds like its pandering to a target audience; instead, Hajnasiewicz wins you over with elegance and unquestioned sincerity free of even a hint of self indulgence. The plain spoken clarity of this single is deceptive – Hajnasiewicz’s directness has its own lean poetry, the poetry of a songwriter who knows exactly what he needs to say and how to say it.
There’s a stately pace to this song from the first that keen eared listeners will recognize and the obvious influences in Hajnasiewicz’s music are expertly invoked, but never over stressed. Drawing from Neil Young and Tom Petty, particularly Crazy Horse in the case of the former, and coupling better vocals with that approach pays off big here but, at the end of days, it’s his lyrics that win out for me. The unflinching clarity of this song will touch all but the most cynical listeners.
His investment in the content is clear from the first. Like the best singers,
Hajnasiewicz doesn’t overdo his presence but unravels the song’s mystery syllable by syllable. He has ann innate understanding of the drama possible in performance and measures his singing in such a way that the song peaks at all of the best moments and settles when it needs to. The union of his voice with note perfect musical accompaniment further underlines the merits of this song.
Hajnasiewicz, as well, benefits from stellar production. Dispense any ideas of a DIY effort – this is polished and unified. The running time, likewise, never stretches the song too far and, by its conclusion, you are a bit surprised, nay dismayed, its already over. Minneapolis native Ted Hajnasiewicz is building the sort of discography capable of inspiring future generations, but most importantly, he is speaking from the heart about what matters most to him.
I gravitate towards musicians who, you are certain after a single hearing, would be writing and recording no matter if they ever saw a penny from their endeavors. Ted Hajnasiewicz should be included in such ranks. “If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow” rings out with passion and meaning while still touching a musical nerve many of us have forgotten. I felt this song reverbate through me from the first note on.
He’s been making music for over three decades and let’s hope he continues. Every second of “If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow” simmers with the heart that defines musical art, but it never feels inordinately plotted or planned out. Instead, it sounds like he cut it live, surrounded by sympathetic musicians, singing and playing alike like his life depended on making this everything it deserved to be. Few singles you’ll hear in 2018 will hit you deeper than this one if you give it a shot. Let’s hope for many more to come from this great songwriter, musician, and singer.