I’m breaking a cardinal rule to write about Darren Hayman (ex-Hefner)’s January Songs project before it’s actually finished, so you have a chance to snag a handful of the tunes in their brief free download window, coz, frankly, owning this album could be a bit expensive for yanks at the Bandcamp going rate. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to.
There’ve been a lot of release-a-new-song-every-day/week/month/whatever projects on the internets in the past few years; this one is a new song written and recorded by Hayman every day in January. This sounds like a schedule that might encourage the artist to be slapdash about both the song-making and the recording part, but Hayman is really smart about he approaches it. He’s booked a lot of friends to help with the songs, including a co-write or two, and some lead vocals not delivered by his own distinctive-but-not-to-everyone’s-taste-and-admittedly-rather-nasal voice. Most importantly, he’s aware that it would be easy to let the writing quality slip, and he’s consequently conscious about avoiding his comfort zones, using tactics like recording in a park he avoids because his dog was hit by a car there* to jolt himself out of routine. Although he warns upfront that the songs “won’t all be good,” I’d say that remains to be seen.
I even watched a handful of the video diary entries, something I almost never do.
If you need more persuading, here’s a bloke who seems to have committed himself to review each individual track with a much less brief take.
* Beaulah was badly hurt, but happily recovered, and appears in the video diary.