Hayden Pedigo is a 23-year-old musician born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. It’s where Pedigo’s parents are from, and it’s the only place he’s ever lived.
“It’s a vibrant place, but in a more strange way,” says Pedigo of his Panhandle hometown.
“It can be really disjointed. There’s a lot of strange characters here, but the landscape of it is different.”
Pedigo says he especially loves the flat plains and open sky that define the town’s distinctive terrain.
“If you go to the edge of Amarillo, you get these flat fields that just go on forever,” he says. “A friend of mine once told me anywhere where he can’t see that far away, like all that space, he gets claustrophobic [from] not being able to see the horizon. That’s the thing I love about Amarillo – there’s just so much space. It just feels really, really open.”
Pedigo captures the landscape of Texas’ northernmost region on his most recent album, “Greetings From Amarillo,” using a variety of instruments and sounds.
“I have an acoustic guitar, a song that sounds like a clavichord [and] another that’s a children’s orchestra played through a bunch of effects,” Pedigo says. “I have an old organ drum machine with an electric guitar playing surf music. It’s all these different sounds coming together to make the one full image.”
During the day, Pedigo does office work. He has had gigs at banks and a credit union. He prefers to limit his creative pursuits to the evening and rarely goes on tour.
“It’s kind of inspiring to me to have the split life kind of thing with the music,” he says. “It’s like how Charles Ives was an insurance salesman during the day and in the evenings was writing these incredible symphonies. I like the idea of having a normal day job and then being able to do my music in the evening for fun.”
He describes the new album as a love letter to Amarillo, as well as the “brightest”-sounding work he’s put out so far.
“The title ‘Greetings From Amarillo’ came from an old postcard,” Pedigo says. “I think, like a postcard, it’s an image from someone who’s there saying “hi” and usually a picture of the place so you can get a feel of it. I want it to be like a really vast landscape postcard where someone’s who’s never stepped foot in Amarillo can put [the album] on and get the feel of the place of the place that they’re never been to– like be able to pick up the landscape through the sound.”
Written by Rachel Rascoe.