How TikTok Revitalised 2008’s Music: The Hayloft Story


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Despite remaining elusive and trodden from the apparent lockdown that sweeped globally, Mother Mother have had quite a year.

I know we’ve discussed the power of TikTok on here before – but never regarding such a rekindling on this scale. But thanks to the trails and tribulations of TikTok, songs that once had their time in the sun are skulking out from the shade and enjoying it all again. The resurgence of Hayloft is simply unprecedented, an unheard-of talk about songs climbing to the top. An unknown cog in an otherwise well-oiled and well-maintained machine

Hayloft II – Mother Mother

My daddy’s got a gun
My daddy’s got a gun
My daddy’s got a gun
You better run

Niche indie band from the corner of Canada became one of the industries’ beauty talks over the autumn in 2020 .. #MotherMother.

After over a decade of releasing the original song, “Hayloft”, it became the most searched set of lyrics in the US, and second most searched in the world. Trailblazed by the global audience outreach they received from such a lucrative exploit on TikTok, it has amassed to new heights in terms of rapid growth with 8 million listeners tuning into the Canadian alt-rock band each month on Spotify alone. With a Rolling Stone feature telling a version of this unique journey (as they topped Rolling Stones’ Artists 500 Chart), Mother Mother capitalised as quick as they could with a revitalised version of the song naming it “Hayloft II.” A more flippant and illustrious style, it throws the single back into the realms of relevancy with a more angry attentive rock style. If anything, it may reflect how much the industry has changed in 10 years from the original song, as the song fits firmly in that 2000 indie-culture.

But the dominant use of this song was not filtered in those memes or dancing shrines you expected to see it on.

No. Rather, it was the song popping up in many different colours and varieties that was the cause of its resurgence. Soon enough, these clips and quips were everywhere and everything with the hashtag shared more than 56 million times. Some used the original audio while others yoinked it off to deliver a remix of their own. But the song resonated most in non-binary communities with cosplay and gothic fashion also playing a part in the wave of #MotherMother.

Despite the lyrical value lacking in originality that show real no signs of mind-boggling complexity or deep songwriting, it’s perhaps rather what they represent. The hardened story about a young lovers’ fling in a hayloft barn ending sour with the daddy catching them in the act – perhaps illustrated within a Southern narrative to sweeten the deal. Tied up literally and metaphorically, the narrative of that is perhaps one that resonates so well in the non-binary communities where it has hit home so effectively. Often where they’ve perhaps never been on agreeing terms with their relatives when it comes to discussing their sexual identities maybe?

With it being released in 2008, such a spike in listens is simply unprecedented from an unprovoked reason as to why it happened in the first place. No cultural reference, no “as seen on TV” clique. Its doing is all thanks to the vibrant communities on TikTok that is often rather overlooked and overshadowed from those cringe-worthy compilations that boast the spotlight.

I do often wince at the prospect of TikTok being the future of our music – what with its content – but this proves how integral and impactful our social media can have on what music we listen to.

What a story. And what another reason to showcase that simply..

the old ones are the best.

4 responses to “How TikTok Revitalised 2008’s Music: The Hayloft Story”

  1. EclecticMusicLover avatar

    It’s truly mind-boggling to an old person like me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. manvmusic avatar

      It boggles my mind and I’m 23! Crazy crazy times we live in with social media. Hope you’re well, Jeff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew avatar

    I’ve Mother Mother’s Eureka album. It’s pretty good.

    Social media, with all its faults, has generated some positives in the music industry. The advertising, and sheer volume of users, must help bands get some exposure. I don’t know if it’s as effective as MTV, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

    Will anyone forgive Youtube (and Canada) for Justin Bieber? 😉

    I stay away from 95% of the social media stuff, but it’s almost impossible to hear a new song without having to go to Youtube these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. manvmusic avatar

      Yeah, I’d argue that TikTok is far more effective than MTV nowadays. MTV is not really used anymore, unfortunately. It’s often loaded with reality star drivel for those simple individuals.. but it’s nice that grassroot bedroom artists can become the next new thing without having to shed out any money on a team and a label. TikTok is a fantastic avenue for a music career!


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