Now And The Evermore
“I’m deeply grateful for the life I have,” says Colin Hay, “and I think my natural tendency has always been towards optimism and humor. Lately, though, I’ve had to be more intentional about it. I’ve had to actively seek out the positive, to let new rays of hope shine on some seemingly dark situations.”
That’s precisely what Hay does with his extraordinary new solo album, Now And The Evermore, facing down struggle, loss, and even his own mortality with grit and wit at every turn. Written and recorded in Hay’s adopted hometown of Los Angeles, the collection is a defiantly joyful celebration of life and love, one that insists on finding silver linings and reasons to smile. That’s not to say the record deludes itself about the realities of our modern world, but rather that it consistently chooses to respond to pain with beauty and doubt with wonder.
The music on Now And The Evermore (Lazy Eye/Compass Records) is vibrant and animated, brimming with fanciful melodies, lush orchestration, and even a guest appearance from Ringo Starr, who kicks the whole thing off with a signature drum fill. Hay’s performances are likewise buoyant and full of life, drawing on vintage pop charm, pub rock muscle, and folk sincerity to forge a sound that’s at once playful and profound, clever and compassionate, whimsical and earnest. At its most basic level, Now And The Evermore offers a deeply personal acknowledgement of the relentless march of time, but zoom out and you’ll see that Hay’s contemplations of identity and eternity are in fact broader reflections on our shared humanity, on letting go of dead weight and reaching for the light no matter how dark things may get.
“It’s a troubling and confounding and ever-inspiring world that we live in,” he muses. “I’m lucky to be able to wander downstairs and try to make some sense of it, at least to myself.”
Born in Scotland, Hay moved with his family as a teenager to Australia, where he first came to international fame with seminal ’80s hitmakers Men At Work. While the band would reach the heights of stardom—they took home a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist and sold more than 30 million records worldwide on the strength of #1 singles like “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under”—by 1985, they’d called it quits and gone their separate ways. Hay released his solo debut the following year and, over the course of the next three-and-a-half decades, went on to record twelve more critically acclaimed studio albums that would help establish him as one of his generation’s most hardworking and reliable craftsmen. Rolling Stone praised his “witty, hooky pop” tunes, while NPR’s World Café lauded his “distinctive voice,” and late night hosts from David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have all welcomed him for performances.