The Place Where We Lived is the 6th full-length album by Hayden and follow-up to
his critically acclaimed In Field and Town from January, 2008. Over the past year,
Hayden has toured extensively both solo and backed by Cuff The Duke, through Canada,
the U.S., Europe and Australia, as headliner and supporting acts such as The National
and Feist. During one of these tours, he decided that for his next album, it was time
to try something new. Hayden is often known for his reclusive nature both personally
and musically, often playing most instruments himself on record and self-producing
each of his albums over long stretches of time throughout his fifteen year career.
While he often brings in friends to play an instrument here and there, not since the
1998 release, The Closer I Get, has Hayden brought in a producer to get songs onto tape.
The decision to enlist Howie Beck to produce The Place Where We Lived, was not a
difficult one. Not only has the renowned songwriter / producer been involved with,
and played on several of Hayden's previous recordings, but the two musicians have been
good friends for years. Beck's keen musical sense and precise attention to detail allowed
Hayden to focus more on the songs themselves. "I've worked with Hayden a lot in the past,"
says Howie "but mostly collaborating purely as a musician - I'd play instruments, but
generally Hayden had a pretty good idea of where he wanted me to fit in."
This time around, inspired by performing on the road, Hayden decided to focus more on being
a songwriter and musician. "On the last three records, I took so long making them that I
actually looked different once they were done," jokes Hayden. "When I began In Field & Town,
I was a vibrant young man." The goal before recording was to move quickly and not get lost in
the process, and to find the essence of the songs in the studio. Many talented musicians added
their own pieces to the puzzle. Cuff the Duke and Hayden moved right from an American tour into
Caterbury Sound in Toront to record some tracks live-off-the-floor, while other musicians showed
up at Howie's 4 Walls Studios armed only with their instruments and an hour to do their thing.
Holly Throsby added her hauntingly beautiful voice through the magic of long-distance recording
from Australia to Toronto online, and sometimes it was the simple magic of Hayden alone at the
microphone playing piano or guitar and singing live.
The Place Where We Lived is a moment in time for Hayden, capturing the perfect balance between
studio recordings and constant movement. A combination of new songs, and songs re-found. Never
labored, the album is one of his best works to date.