FPOP95 Format: CD / Vinyl / Download Released: 04 October 2010
The new album from ex-Hefner man Darren Hayman and his band of folk-rock renegades is their finest work to date
Essex Arms is the third album by Darren Hayman And The Secondary Modern. Darren, of course, is best known as the singer-songwriter of the phenomenally successful and much-loved Hefner, although it’s worth noting that he has now made six albums to Hefner’s four. In the latest incarnation of the constantly morphing Secondary Modern he has gathered together a set of musicians with the chops to do justice to his increasingly complex and mature songs; a tight, tough, but soulful folk-rock orchestra reminiscent of a more urban Incredible String Band or an Anglicized Lambchop.
The second in a proposed trilogy of albums about Hayman’s home county of Essex, Essex Arms is a conceptual piece about the East Anglian rural underbelly. Whereas Pram Town (2009) dealt with the displacement and ennui of living in a new town (Harlow) – and received the best reviews of Hayman’s post-Hefner career – Essex Arms takes the narrative to the countryside.
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