We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Make Believe

by Hayden Desser

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $1 CAD  or more



What do you do when you’re stuck on the ground but really need to fly?

Hayden Desser, the singer-songwriter who has recorded as Hayden for more than twenty years, is sharing a new song and video entitled “Make Believe.” Through his long career, Hayden has always found beautiful, musically interesting ways of singing our aches and wants. He describes “Make Believe” as "finding the beauty in truth, the bruised melody acknowledging that as much as we need to stay on the ground and be honest, we will always make things up."

“Make Believe” is based on a novel written by Hayden’s friend, the writer Colin McAdam. Titled Black Dove, the book will appear in fall 2021. The song was produced by Hayden and the lyrics were written by both McAdam and Desser.

Like many of us lately, Hayden has been confined to small spaces. He made the video hanging his nephew’s green picnic blanket on the wall next to his dining table, conjuring images of cities and trees out of nowhere. The video is a testament to imagination, part of the song’s conversation about when and why we need to make believe. Desser explains, "It’s about the heartache we feel and the magic we crave, living in the real world and wanting to fly above it.” Watch the video for "Make Believe" AT bit.ly/33Oc3sR

Desser is currently finishing a new record with producer Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten). He's also been co-writing with Matt Berninger for The National frontman's solo debut album Serpentine Prison, due this Fall. He's released eight studio albums, and is the co-founder of Dream Serenade, one of Canada's most highly anticipated annual concerts, which raises funds for children with exceptionalities and their caregivers by gathering musical talent from all over the world.


Nothing is really, perfect, not nearly, as some stories have people believe /
Liking one-another is only made harder when these ideas make their way up our sleeves
I remember he told me to once think of a lonely old horse standing up on some hill /
His ribs are all showing, he can't see where he's going and his belly’s all covered in filth /
And he just sort of stands there real still
Some folks might want to make believe and give him fake wings and put a horn upon his face /
And have him dance around with fairy dust falling down, and feed him strawberry cake
They'll make him perfect, but we don't need perfect /
there's so much more real beauty, in that sad old horse /
all the memories and of course / the true stories that will always be
much better than make believe
True stories will always be /
much better than make believe


released August 12, 2020
Written by Hayden Desser and Colin McAdam
Recorded, mixed and produced by Hayden Desser at Skyscraper National Park


all rights reserved



Hayden Desser Toronto, Ontario

For over 20 years, Hayden Desser has been making music on his own terms and on his own schedule. The three-time JUNO nominee has produced, engineered and mixed most of his records at home, creating a world of his own, exploring themes ranging from love lost and found to bear maulings and home invasions. ... more

contact / help

Contact Hayden Desser

Streaming and
Download help

Report this track or account

If you like Hayden Desser, you may also like: