For A Time

by Stephen Hay

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"For A Time" is a collection of songs I wrote during my time in London. Each song is about my experience in London, in one way or another, and hopefully together illustrate the impact it's made on me. It's my favourite city, one of my many "homes" and home to some of my favourite people on the planet.

We were fortunate enough to record the songs live at a beautiful studio in North London, with a full camera crew. Initially I wanted a really raw "studio-live" style video series, but after hearing and seeing the recordings I knew it needed something else. Nathaniel took the files and worked his magic with them, adding layers and sounds as he saw fit. Oliver & Nadia & I came up with the ridiculous idea of projecting the videos onto outside surfaces from around London to give them a distorted texture. Miraculously, we actually pulled this off (a rental power generator, lots of borrowed equipment and a couple of all-nighters later) and I'm so stoked with the final result. Nothing says "London" like a red double-decker in the background, a cheeky pigeon or the endless brick walls Britons love to build.

Big love to everyone involved, and everyone who's been a part of my life in London!



released October 22, 2013

Band: Jihea Oh (Moog & Bass), Hristo Dushev (Drums), Terence Waldeck (Keyboards)
Songwriting, co-production & Lead Vocals: Stephen Hay
Co-production and mixing: Nathaniel Ledwidge
Video director: Oliver Cross -
Cameras: Oliver Cross, Jocelyn Ingabire, Ellie Kyungran Heo
Studio Engineer: Ayo Oyerinde -
Assistant Engineer: Byron Hosking



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Stephen Hay London, UK

Stephen Hay is an artist/producer from New Zealand. Currently based near Seoul in South Korea and having spent five years in the UK, his influences and inspirations are somewhat varied. While starting out as a singer-songwriter, he now experiments with laptop-based electronic music. ... more

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Track Name: Singledom
All around me I’m noticing a theme:
They’re all looking for, or with someone, or somewhere in between
Dating it seems is quite the thing to do
But with it comes this emotional sinewave I wish I never knew
That’s why I’m sticking with:

This singledom and it’s simplicity
Who would have known it could be so easy?
And in singledom I find my sanity
I think for now this is just what I need

Let’s be honest, there’s some things that I miss
Like knowing someone so well, or sneaking that secret kiss
But don’t you think there’s disadvantages?
Girls are expensive and time consuming - I’m busy as it is
That’s why I’m sticking with:

Yeah I’ve got this little theory, but what if it’s all wrong?
I can’t help but wonder what I’ll do when “that one” comes along
And she’s giving me this feeling that I’ve been running from
Would I just abandon all my plans of singledom?

Singledom and its simplicity
I should have known it can’t be that easy
But singledom was such a good theory
I guess right now I don’t know what I need
You tell me
Track Name: Busy Life
Is this a busy city? Or is it just me?
My weeks just seem to fly past
Like some crazy London cab, passing me in a flash of black
When’s it going to hit me? 
Those weeks add up so quickly, it’s kinda scary
And now winters here, another year
So then where did that time go, and did I spend it wisely?
And if not, why not?

I gotta find some time
Near impossible in this busy life
I can’t forget I’ve still got this song to write
And it won’t happen ’till I make some time in this…
Busy life

Enough of my complaining about this need of mine
'cause now that things are changing, I'm left high and dry
in an ocean of spare time - my excuses are fading
It's a simple fact of life: our times been allocated
And we'll use it just how we choose to
So when another week's gone by, and this verse is still waiting
I think it’s about time to stop

So what’s important to you? 
What have you always wanted to do, but never had the time?
What is it you value enough to make room in your busy life?
Busyness is a blessing
Although when I’m stressing it’s often in disguise
So what I’m guessing is I’ll just have to learn to prioritise
And nail these last few lines
Track Name: Look Up
Wandering down a track I swear is going the wrong way
Wondering should I turn back right here
Or just go the long way
And I’ve decided the one that’s lost isn’t me
It’s my sense of direction
‘Cause when you think of it like that
How lost could I really be?
It puts it all in perspective

Are you watching where you're going?
Are you watching where you are?
Don’t you know that time ‘aint slowing?
Won’t you make a start?

I know we all like to think we’ve got it down
We know where we’re headed
We've got direction, got a dream, we've got a plan
But then we seem to forget it
It’s like we’re scared of change, “This here should be fine”
Where there’s water we’ll tread it
So what am I trying to say? Look up more, set your sights high
Give yourself some credit

A little lost I’m sure is fine - when it’s the good kind
‘Cause it makes you think, which could only be…
I’d say it’s a good thing
I once was lost but now am found
I was blind but now I see
All said and done, I’ve found the one with all the plans for me

Won’t you look up, and make a start
Track Name: Letting Go
I've been biking at midnight, acoustic improv by city-light
And I've been soaking in sunlight, almost forgot what that feels like
Making the most of my time here, cause my departure is drawing near
Is this the end of an era? I just wish I could see clearer

I just wanna see the future
It’s the not knowing I can't stand, how much longer will this last?
I just wanna see the future
But is that too much to ask? 
Sure I've got a plan, but I’m learning to let go

So now I'm trapped in a time-warp, and my whole life is on hold
This whole "uncertainty" business is starting to get old
So then whatever happened to my sense of adventure?
Turns out my love for the unknown needs a bit of attention

I'm letting go of what I can't control
And I'm learning to embrace the unknown

I don’t need to see the future
I know things will work out fine, I’ll take it one day at a time
I don’t need to see the future
Some things aren’t mine to decide
Sure I’ve got a plan, but I’m learning to let go