I think it was Lloyd Cole who once said that the David Bowie of the 1970s had a lot to answer for. All those singers who grew up listening to that majestic run of records felt that they should also try and change their style each album rather than concentrate on what they're best at. This is not something that ever seems to worry Darren Hayman. From his days with Hefner to this latest release, Hayman appears to just get on with and do what he does best: write pretty catchy numbers that feature intelligent, witty lyrics.
And that's precisely what you get on this EP. The lead track, taken from Hayman's latest album, Essex Arms, is a duet with Emma-Lee Moss. Described by Hayman as being a love song about illicit sex in car parks, it's something of a gem.
"Let's park the car with the windows down,
All the boys from all the towns
Will gather round and they'll find out
All the things I've talked about," sings Hayman.
It's Moss, however, who has the last word. "The circle of trust is smaller," she says with a giggle at the end.
The track Essex Arms follows and is one of those numbers destined to be subject of pop trivia. Like Julian Cope's World Shut Your Mouth and Sheer Heart Attack by Queen, it's a track that doesn't feature on an album of the same name by that same artist. Not making the album is no reflection on the track though. I've not heard the LP yet, but it must be pretty damn good if there wasn't room for this.
Beach Head is a reggae-ish instrumental that bring to mind Jonathan Richman's Egyptian Reggae, whilst Until We Got Bored sounds like a demo, where Hayman - backed just by an acoustic guitar – recounts another relationship gone wrong, but this time because boredom set in.
"We'd have good sex without the kissing,
Sunday papers with the magazine missing...
Until we got bored."
As always with Hayman, this is well worth checking out...