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May 20, 2024

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The Closer I Get (Geffen Records)

By: Jen Brown

Back in 1984 a young Canadian named Hayden received his first guitar. Almost a decade later he began recording soothing, rhythmical songs drawing from personal experiences. In 1994 he self-released a 12 song cassette, In September, promoting it during his solo acoustic shows which began drawing sell-out crowds. This was followed by a tour of Canada. A year later, Hayden had released his debut CD, Everything I Long For on Hardwood, this release topped the indie charts in Canada. Hayden soon signed to Outpost Recordings, who then released Everything I Long For internationally. After two years, Hayden will finally released a follow-up album to Everything I Long For, entitled The Closer I Get on May 12. The first single from this album, The Hazards of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees, has already hit the air waves of college rock stations.

Since recording Everything I Long For, Hayden has grown and expanded his musical style. There is a notable change in sound from Hayden's first album, which consisted mostly of an acoustic guitar and the soothing melodic sound of the Canadian singer's voice. Hayden has begun moving away from the raw, basement recordings of Everything I Long For, to a more professional, diverse sound. The same soothing melodies and rhythms are present on The Closer I Get, and lyrically, Hayden continues to write from his life, in a unique story-telling way. However, he has begun exploring more instruments, such as percussion, mellotron, and a variety of string instruments. For example, Nights Like These, a track off of The Closer I Get, mixes piano, strings, and Hayden's soft voice in a slow ballad. Bits and pieces of Hayden's Everything I Long For sound, such as the harmonica and light strumming on his acoustic guitar have been carried over to The Closer I Get.

For the first time, this past April, Hayden toured with a full band. This gave the audience the full effect of his new album. The Closer I Get is a wonderful album to listen to on a lazy day, a day when you have time to sit and listen. His music invokes feelings of empathy. Hayden's deep, soulful lyrics mixed with the slow, down to earth sound of his music produce an interesting, entertaining medley. In my personal opinion, Hayden's The Closer I Get is a must hear.

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