English songwriter Darren Hayman returns with another album of stripped down songwriting in Florence. With 14 albums to his name Hayman offers a steady hand of experience and a DIY aesthetic. Written and recorded in his friend’s apartment in Firenze, Italy, it’s a homely collection of acoustic guitar numbers. Out on vinyl LP from Fika.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 04 November 2015Sometimes the best songs come out of things done on the hoof. Darren Hayman has a habit of recording quickly. He also has a penchant for themed records. Whilst this album doesn’t have a theme as such it was all recorded at a friends apartment in Italy. I understand the mentality that breeds that kind of creativity. Stripping things back allows Hayman to concentrate on the songs and opener ‘Nun Run the Apothecary’ is an autumnal acoustic delight and even if ‘Break Up With Him’ uses drum machines they are minimal and unintrusive. My favourite songs are those which keep to the simple guitar and vocal blueprint. ‘From the Square to the Hill’ is a lovely delicate thing using clipped guitars to create the kind of melancholy that will appeal to fans of Kings of Convenience. The album continues in this vein, drum machines are audible on the dirgier tracks which intersperse the gorgeous acoustic pieces. ‘Lose Me and Find Me’ has a lovely little guitar going up an escalator and ‘Post Office Girl’ sounds like a toy town Metronomy (with admittedly clunky verse) and although Hayman’s voice is something of an acquired taste it’s either getting more palatable or I’m getting more used to it. Whichever is the case, I enjoyed this pretty, understated record.
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