Darren Hayman – Pram Town
8 ) Darren Hayman – Pram Town
Our Dazza, who has sadly ended the year recovering from a fractured skull after parking in one of the wrong areas of Nottingham, started the year by releasing an album that seemed specifically designed to appeal to me.
A concept album about town planning – specifically, about Harlow New Town – may not be everyone’s cup of Bovril, but the air of sadness that permeates this piece fills me with a kind of doomed hope for the future. Harlow may be a nightmarish mash of crumbling concrete and windswept plazas, but it was the future once – and nothing dates like the future. Filled with good intentions, they tried their best and it wasn’t good enough.
This also goes for the characters that populate the town and the songs – all doomed relationships, the struggle to transcend ones surroundings, and popstar lesbians; legends in their own postcodes.
With understated ukulele folk orchestra and moog dreamscapes, this is probably Darren Hayman’s most coherent album yet. Only a lack of killer choruses prevents it from being higher up the list. Get well soon, Darren.