Interview With Darren Hayman
HYMN FOR YE OLDE WITCH HUNT
Over the past four years, ex-Hefner head honcho Darren Hayman has released records about lidos, dogging and Russian space canines, and played gigs in libraries, observatories and remote Hebridean Islands. In all that time however, Hayman’s real focus has been on his latest release The Violence, a twenty-track double LP chronicling witch trials – and the subsequent execution of several hundred lonely, widowed women – in ye olde Essex. The album deals with fear and isolation, the way we use our own terror in times of trouble to lash out at the weak, and how societies persecute otherness and outsiders. It is epic in both concept and sound, and bought alive by woodwind scores, trembling strings and decaying church organs, as well as Hayman’s distinctive vocal delivery.
The record constitutes the third installment in Darren’s Essex trilogy, with the previous two albums (Pram Town and Essex Arms) providing an altogether more modern inquisition into new towns, suburbs and the lawless countryside.