Hayden Calnin

Hayden Calnin


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There is no better metaphor for What It Means to Be Human, an atmospheric work of pop-folk from Hayden Calnin, than the serene-but-powerful Pacific Ocean that inspired it. The Melbourne-based artist composed and self-produced the album (out September 10th, Nettwerk Records) by ensconcing himself in a hamlet on the Australian shore that was escapist enough to spark a sonic baptism. “All these songs are about people-things,” Hayden says. “I read a lot of Alan Watts and deep-thinking lecturers from back in the day. I like their thoughts on existence and spirituality.” What It Means to Be Human follows in kind, its title track setting the album’s theme. “This is definitely a pandemic album. I left the city and went down to the coast. I was feeling the buzz, and the pandemic hit. I had a lot of time to read about things, think about things. Which I did. It made me angry, but also felt really great at times.” And that, he learned, is what it means to be human. Previously, Hayden was producing music for other artists and composing songs that have appeared in The Good Doctor, Suits, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, So You Think You Can Dance, and the UK trailer for the Oscar-nominated Room. These were the merely cherries atop the achievements of his own work, earning praise from tastemakers like Magnetic, Clash and Earmilk and sharing the stage with Tom Odell, The Antlers, Matt Corby, and more.