Daily Distraction: Let go with Hayden Pedigo

After a run for Amarillo City Council, which led to documentary 'Kid Candidate,' the Texas guitarist is back with a great new record, 'Letting Go'

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Hayden Pedigo

Guitarist Hayden Pedigo caught my ear a few years ago, mostly because of an album title: Greetings from Amarillo

Like Pedigo, I'm a native of Amarillo, Texas, and it's not every day I get press releases about musicians from my birthplace. This album happened to be a tribute to that beautiful-in-its-own-way landscape, and Pedigo did the Texas panhandle justice with his excellent solo guitar work and accompanying synth drones, recalling William Tyler, Marisa Anderson and other modern masters of the form who offer a refreshing update on the American Primitive sound.

Last month, Pedigo returned with a beautiful new album, Letting Go (Mexican Summer), which is even better than 2017's Amarillo. The 27-year-old guitarist wrote the record over the pandemic, which coincided with a move south to Lubbock, Texas. "I felt absolutely lost and had a heavy heart for months upon arriving in Lubbock,” Pedigo said in a statement. “I wanted to write a new album, but I was scared it wouldn’t turn out okay. I wanted to talk to my family again [after temporarily losing touch] and try to reconnect and heal despite our differences, but I was scared it wouldn’t turn out okay. The isolation made me reconsider a lot of things, and start making music again and working things out with my family.”

But that's not all Pedigo has been up to the last few years. After making a spoof campaign video for a seat on the Amarillo City Council in 2019, the prank led to an actual city council bid, which then led to a documentary, "Kid Candidate," that premiered at South by Southwest this year. Check out the trailer below (the film is currently available to rent via Amazon Prime, iTunes and the like), and below that give a listen to Pedigo's new record.