Tag Archive | "Making Marks"

Darren Hayman – Florence

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Darren Hayman – Florence

Posted on 26 October 2015 by Joe

Time and place are key to this latest, comparatively low-key, release from Darren Hayman.

In recent years the former Hefner frontman has been embroiled in ambitious full-band projects, from putting William Morris’s political writings to music to a trilogy of albums about his native Essex.

Darren Hayman

His forthcoming project, an art and musical homage to those rare English villages where all their First World War soldiers returned alive, is set to be another large-scale piece of work.

But here he uses the more simple idea, of a short winter holiday in Florence staying at the apartment of his indiepop chums Elizabeth Morris and her husband Ola Innset, of Allo Darlin and Making Marks respectively, to write and record a melancholy collection of songs.

While a rare solo project it is far from being a lonely or sad album. Friendship is a key theme and there’s a cosy warmth to its winter setting too.

Opener Nuns Run the Apothecary is a great song about friendship. Here Hayman charts the directions and instructions from Morris and Innset to their apartment. ‘We’re sorry to miss you’ and ‘treat our home like your own’ are among the lovely phrases where Hayman draws out the sense of affection among friends.

There’s good music and melodies here too. From the Square to the Hill has the rhythm of a sightseer abroad, taking in the sky, buildings and people around him at that nothing time between Christmas and New Year.

In some ways this is my favourite Hayman album for some time. It’s got the song writing of the best of his Essex trilogy and the warmth of much of his January songs project, recorded at this same time of year and involving him writing, recording and releasing a song a day with help from his musical friends and social media community, including my own dog.

Although in a different city to his native London this most melancholy of times of year once again provides the perfect inspiration for his songwriting.

To buy Darren Hayman – Florence click here.

9/10

by Joe Lepper

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Making Marks – A Thousand Half Truths

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Making Marks – A Thousand Half Truths

Posted on 28 January 2014 by Joe

Making Marks, the Norwegian act that were one of our highlights at 2013’s Indietrack’s festival, are indie pop with a country twist. It’s an effective blend, especially with the sad but beautiful vocals of singers Ola Innset and Nina Bø as well as the country twang of Innset’s picking style of electric guitar playing.

making marks

They’ve been touring across Europe for a while now, picking up admirers along the way and so this debut album feels long overdue. As befitting a band with a sad country lilt and indie pop sense of fun there is a range of emotions on display here, with Ticket Machine and Forgive and Forget providing the happy indie pop and Barcodes bringing a sad, country feel to the fore. The harmonies on Barcodes are particularly striking and Uten En Trad and Like Spinning are others with echoes of the US mid-west that work well.

Falling in Love Again feels a little like a filler track and lacks the spark of many of the others, but this is the only lacklustre one on an album of remarkable consistency.

Flying High Forever closes proceedings and showcases Innset’s best guitar work. As debuts go this is more than solid; it is an enjoyable, fun listen to a talented band that have a clear eye on a US audience as well as the indie-kids of Europe. It is little wonder that we included them in our Top Ten Acts To Watch Out for in 2014 feature.

8/10

by Joe Lepper

A Thousand Half- Truths is released on Fika Recordings on 3 February.

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