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About Hayden

With his laconic moan, loner vibe, and mononymous moniker, Hayden appeared on the mid-’90s alternative scene as a mysterious balladeer bridging the gap between indie folk and rock. Born Paul Hayden Desser in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill in 1971, he developed a fascination with the lo-fi alt-rock sounds that started springing up in the first half of the ’90s, and he eventually put his four-track recorder to work. One of the first results to go public was his DIY cassette-only 1994 release In September. Going through a local distributor, he released Everything I Long for the following year. Its mix of moody acoustic tunes and glowering, grungy rockers took off, and soon Hayden was signed by Geffen imprint Outpost, who rereleased the album and put out the 1998 follow-up, The Closer I Get. In the years to come, with his hermetic inclinations, Hayden maintained a mystery-man image, but his sonic approach became more fully realized, often blending his folk and rock aspects together instead of alternating between them. And the hardy fanbase he developed stuck by him as he became a major figure of indie music. He also hosts the annual Dream Serenade benefit concert, which has featured friends like Feist and The National.

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
February 12, 1971
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