Ex-Hefner frontman’s brilliant new duet with Emmy The Great
Ex-Hefner frontman Darren Hayman met Emma-Lee Moss when they were both recording sessions for a radio station in North London. Like many, Darren was struck by the audacity of Emma-Lee’s “Emmy the Great’ stage name and decided to celebrate their new friendship by recording a duet.
“I always assume singers younger than me don’t know shit,” says Darren of Emmy, “but watching Emmy play at the Union Chapel earlier this year was an education for me. Her wit, stage presence and intelligence are something to behold and of course she has those beautifully intricate songs.”
For their duet Darren wrote a love song about illicit sex in parked cars.
“The album Essex Arms is about love in unloved places. I wanted to sing about a lawless, hidden version of the countryside, but still treat the subject with tenderness and respect.”
Darren continues to forge an increasingly, idiosyncratic career path; writing the theme tune and staring in a Spanish Sitcom, playing a 30 people capacity show in a 100 year old paper mache observatory and playing possibly Britiain’s most remote festival on the Isle of Eigg. Darren is also writing the best tunes of his career; increasingly complex and mature songs. His band, The Secondary Modern, are a tight, tough, but soulful folk-rock orchestra reminiscent of a more urban Incredible String Band or an Anglicized Lambchop.
“Calling Out Your Name Again” is the second single to be released from Essex Arms, Darren’s latest album. Besides the title track, the EP includes three songs taken from the album sessions that are exclusive to this release – Essex Arms, Beach Head and Until We Got Bored.
The single is also accompanied by a beautiful animated video with every frame hand drawn by Darren that can be found via http://www.hefnet.com
You’d be hard pressed not find something on this release which wouldn’t at least pique your interest, even if you didn’t end up loving it. From the main title track, a happy pop duet with Emma-Lee Moss (of Emmy the Great fame), the strange reggae influenced ‘Beach Head’, the Bowie-folk of ‘Until We Got Bored’ right through to the glitch folk of ‘Essex Arms’, Hayman consistently turns out songs with skill and wit. 7/10