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12 heavyweight 180gm vinyl. Darren Hayman has shortened his Long Parliament and returns with a new LP of seventeenth century folk songs called Bugbears, which is due out on Fika Recordings in July. Bugbears will be come encased in deluxe packaging and accompanied by a massive booklet of Darren s notes, lyrics along with artwork by various artists; the 13 songs are illustrated by 13 artists, including Ant Harding of Hefner, Jonny Helm of The Wave Pictures, Pam Berry of Black Tambourine, Dan Wilson of Withered Hand, Robert Rotifer, Sarah Lippett of Fever Dream, Louise Clark, Joe Besford, James Paterson and Matthew Sawyer. The LP comes on heavyweight vinyl and includes a download code for a digital version of the album. Following his critically acclaimed album The Violence, which concerned itself with the East Anglian witch trials during the English Civil Wars, Darren Hayman became fascinated with that period of English history. Not only did he release a follow-up EP Four Queens about songs about a quartet of English Queens (Elizabeth 1, Henrietta Maria, Lady Jane Gray and Eleanor Of Aquitaine), but he also embarked on a project unearthing folk songs of the seventeenth century and Stuart era. Two of the songs he found appear on The Violence album: When the King Enjoys His Own Again and A Coffin for King Charles, A Crown for Cromwell and a Pit for the People . He did not seek to achieve forensic detail when finding these songs but was keen to have a sense of the flavour of the music of the era. Whilst writing The Violence, he started to record and adapt some of the songs, which are collected here. Bugbears can be considered an accompanying volume to The Violence. Although Darren did a fair amount of research, these are not meant to be definitive or historical readings of the songs. He has revised, edited and even rewritten in places. Praise for 'The Violence' --- "bold and unique record." The Sunday Times // "His is a personal, emotive take and it proves very effective." Uncut 8/10 // "Floating like recovered memories through warm, intimate arrangements, Hayman's fragile delivery gives voice to the paranoid and persecuted of the past whilst drawing subtle, eerie parallels with modern times. A major work." Mojo 4*s //
Top Customer Reviews
Opening tune "Martin Said" sets the scene. Described in the beautifully written sleeve notes as a "drinking song", it does indeed swing along drunkenly with plucked banjos, a weepy fiddle and Darren's endearingly wobbly vocal. The next tune "Bugbears" is a thing of delicate beauty. The acoustic arpeggios, whispered vocal, soft chiming keyboards and HEARTBREAKING melody all add up to a song that captivates from beginning to end. It's Darren Hayman on full power, and that is a wonderful thing.
The album continues with a smattering of pleasant instrumentals and eminently more effective (and affecting) vocal tracks. "Hey Then Up We Go", with its derelict chapel organ, is like a spooky nursery rhyme. "The Contented" is a great slow-paced piano number about politicians and its major-to-minor melody is marvellous. "Impossibilities", meanwhile, should come with an EARWORM caution because it is DANGEROUSLY catchy. No surprises there, though. I've had Darren Hayman songs spinning round in my head for days at a time. The man is gifted, to be sure.
All said and done, "Bugbears" is forty minutes of top quality, bucolic music.Read more ›