Four Queens EP

Darren Hayman releases a special four-track EP for Record Store Day (Saturday April 20th) entitled Four Queens, available on limited edition coloured vinyl 10″ and digital. The EP follows on from his critically acclaimed album, The Violence, released on Fortuna POP! last year, which has spawned an ongoing fascination with English history.

Comprised of one track from The Violence, the outstanding ‘Henrietta Maria’, plus three new compositions, the EP features (as the name suggests) songs about a quartet of English Queens. Sung from the perspective of King Charles I as he serenades his French Queen, ‘Henrietta Maria’ is beautiful and touching, and somehow Hayman manages to indulge in a brief history lesson without ever compromising his lyrical meter or the song’s integrity.

Elsewhere, ‘Nine Day Queen’ deals with the tragic tale of Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for a mere nine days before being beheaded at the tender age of 17. ‘Eleanor Of Aquitaine’ tells the story of a monarch who was Queen of both England and France who, as well as marrying two kings gave birth to two, lived to 80 (outliving all but two of her ten children) and caused a whole lot of trouble along the way. Perhaps the standout track here though is ‘Elizabeth The First’, which sees Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’ taking lead vocals over Hayman’s plaintive backing.

As The Violence so clearly showed, Hayman is a master craftsman at the top of his game, and this EP continues the remarkable quality of his recent releases with these four, finely wrought royal vignettes.

Darren is planning a year of monthly shows at London’s Vortex Jazz Club, showcasing different albums and themes from his career. The first show featuring songs from the Violence is here. http://www.wegottickets.com/event/218319

Buy the Four Queens EP Direct from Darren


Or buy downloads from Bandcamp here.

DARREN HAYMAN & The Long Parliament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to “Henrietta Maria” here (feel free to share!):

https://soundcloud.com/fortuna-pop/henrietta-maria-by-darren

 

Darren Hayman releases a special four-track EP for Record Store Day (Saturday April 20th) entitled Four Queens, available on limited edition coloured vinyl 10″ and digital. The EP follows on from his critically acclaimed album, The Violence, released on Fortuna POP! last year, which has spawned an ongoing fascination with English history.

 

Comprised of one track from The Violence, the outstanding ‘Henrietta Maria’, plus three new compositions, the EP features (as the name suggests) songs about a quartet of English Queens. Sung from the perspective of King Charles I as he serenades his French Queen, ‘Henrietta Maria’ is beautiful and touching, and somehow Hayman manages to indulge in a brief history lesson without ever compromising his lyrical meter or the song’s integrity.

 

Elsewhere, ‘Nine Day Queen’ deals with the tragic tale of Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for a mere nine days before being beheaded at the tender age of 17. ‘Eleanor Of Aquitaine’ tells the story of a monarch who was Queen of both England and France who, as well as marrying two kings gave birth to two, lived to 80 (outliving all but two of her ten children) and caused a whole lot of trouble along the way. Perhaps the standout track here though is ‘Elizabeth The First’, which sees Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’ taking lead vocals over Hayman’s plaintive backing.

 

As The Violence so clearly showed, Hayman is a master craftsman at the top of his game, and this EP continues the remarkable quality of his recent releases with these four, finely wrought royal vignettes.

 

Darren is planning a year of monthly shows at London’s Vortex Jazz Club, showcasing different albums and themes from his career. Details to come soon.

 

http://www.hefnet.com/

http://www.fortunapop.com/

 

 

For press info please contact Lucy Hurst at butilikeyouPR | butilkeyou.co.uk

The Laughing Tree

“The Laughing Tree” by Darren Hayman and the Long Parliament

Darren Hayman presents another track from his critically acclaimed album The Violence, which was released on Fortuna POP! last year but has spawned an ongoing fascination with all things to do with the English Civil Wars, with an EP of mostly new material entitled Four Queens due in April and an album of English folk songs of the time called Bugbears imminent on Fika Recordings. Darren is also planning a year of monthly shows at the Vortex Jazz Club showcasing different albums and themes from his career. Details to come soon.

You can listen to “The Laughing Tree” from The Violence here. Darren describes the song below:

“My album The Violence is a concept album about the Essex Witch Trials in 1645 during the English Civil Wars. It has 20 songs on it.

One reason it is so long is that I found it very hard to find a song to end the album. At one point it ended with King Charles 1 execution, another time it was all the people of England trampling ‘Desire Lines’ out to the coast.

It took me three attempts to find the resting place of Matthew Hopkins, the self proclaimed Witch Finder General. The ruins of St Mary’s church are clearly marked on the ordinance survey map but on three trips I couldn’t locate it. I wondered whether the smallest ruins even odd bricks were sometimes marked on maps and I would never find them amongst the grass on the heath.
Driving through North Essex one day my wife persuaded me to try one more time. She looked over the wall and there was the forlorn pile of stones that used to be St Mary’s church. Growing out of the stones was a twisted old tree that appeared to be smiling.

It’s worth visiting the geography of the places where you are sitting stories. You never know what detail they might throw up.
I had my last song; Matthew Hopkins lying, dead in the ground, waiting to fly to heaven, his remains feeding a tree that laughs down at him.”

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

“The Violence is ambitious in Hayman’s homemade, almost hesitant way, but his vision goes far beyond any other current independent artist and is a true treasure.” Q

“The remarkable 20-track record contrasts woozy, folkish pop with dark historical sketches of the accused, and those around them.” Stool Pigeon 4*s

For more information please contact Lucy Hurst at butilikeyouPR | lucy@butilikeyou.co.uk

The Making of The Violence Part 3

A behind the scenes look at the making of Darren Hayman’s album ‘The Violence’

‘Impossible Times’ is a song from ‘The Violence’ a 20-song, double LP chronicling the 17th century Essex Witch Trials during the English Civil Wars.

Between 1644 and 1646, approximately 300 women were executed for witchcraft in the eastern counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

The album deals with fear and isolation, the way we use our own terror in times of trouble to lash out at the weak. It’s about how societies persecute otherness and outsiders.

‘Impossible Times’ is about how every generation tends to think of itself as being at the nadir of history. The end of the world has been just around the corner for centuries. The British of 1645 had more reason to believe this than most.

The Violence is epic in both concept and sound. The landscape of the Dedham Vale is bought alive by beautiful intricate woodwind scores, trembling strings and destroyed church organs.

The Violence is an outstanding creative achievement, a truly unique and unprecedented album.

“It’s about how violence frightens us and how fear just leads to greater violence,” says Hayman.

The Violence is released on November the 5th 2012 by FortunaPOP!

Queen of Misrule

Queen of Misrule by Darren Hayman

As best I can recall the only outtake from my recent album The Violence

A Christmas song of sorts it concerns Oliver Cromwell’s supposed banning of Christmas. It was perhaps natural that puritans who perceived any image or effigy of god to be devilish or ungodly would eventually turn their prudent eyes on the Winter festival.

Although no ban as such took place attempts were made to curtail the excessive celebrations in favour of a more religious festival.

Resistance to these idea lead to the so-called Christmas Wars, which were Wars in name only.

The song itself was troublesome to me to complete and and suffered many rewrites. In fact an almost completely different version with alternate words and tune named ‘The Christmas Wars’ exists on my Christmas in Haworth record from last year.

The Violence can be bought on CD or Vinyl or downloaded here.