Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Worlds To Walk Into: Darren Hayman’s Favourite Albums

As he releases a beautifully reflective album on the fall-out from a broken love, Darren Hayman takes us through 13 favourite albums, from Miles Davis collaborating with John Coltrane via Cliff Richard, the kids from Fame, Liz Phair, Nic Jones, ELO and The Damned.

After albums about the Essex witch trials (The Violence), post-war Harlow (Pram Town), William Morris’ poetry (Chants For Socialists), and a trio exploring the Thankful Villages which were fortunate enough to have all their young men return alive from the First World War, it’d be an easy assumption that the subject matter of Darren Hayman’s new album is a return to a more personal, introspective focus. Yet to say Home Time’s 12 tracks of crushingly affecting and curiously witty dissection of the end of a relationship is a jump away from Hayman’s recent research-heavy projects would be to miss the point of what makes him such an interesting lyricist and songwriter. Whether dealing with the comings and goings of the heart or a village over the course of the past century, Hayman is a wonderful communicator of the quiet yet profound moments of joy and agony that make up our lives. As he puts it, administering the remains of relationship is a time when “there is a mine waiting to be detonated in every corner.” Break-up albums are often myopic, maudlin affairs, but this never is – the power in the sentiment comes with the acknowledgement that these are things we all go through, all the time. And there is too a sense of new beginnings that lies behind every trigger of cutting the card to the shared account in half – mostly this comes through with such terrific tunes, Home Town loaded with woozing saxophone, backing vocals from Hannah Winter and Laura K, not a lo-fi finish but one that has all the intimacy of home recording, melodies with a carefree jaunt juxtaposing with the starkly confessional lyrics of personal failure, regret, and rebuilding. Hayman’s Baker’s Dozen is a broad dive into the music that shaped Hayman’s music since he first appeared with Hefner in the mid-90s. Written by Darren himself, it’s a typically unique not only on the music and musicians themselves, but also his relationship with songs as they arrived in his life – and also features the first ever entry by Cliff Richard into a Quietus Baker’s Dozen! Click the image of Darren below to begin reading his selections. Home Time is released on 22nd May.

First Record

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