Darren Hanlon is performed on 21/04/06 at the terribly named @Newtown venue. For those unfamiliar, Hanlon is a Sydney songwriter, roughly from the same school as artists like Jonathan Richman, who first came to prominence with a couple of quirky pop songs. A witty man, a performing natural, and, as I discussed on the weekend, there is a magical shine on his first EP (Early Days) and first album (Hello Stranger).

Then came Little Chills from a couple of years ago. For a man who once said he would bring a new song to every tour, it was a long time coming, and it must be said, slim pickings on first listen. It lacked the energy of his earlier works. It was sombre. It was SERIOUS. And after a good year of still seeing shows and coming back to the record, it’s also fantastic. It’s not, say, Room On Fire.

I am a big fan, and after seeing him so many shows, it’s the Little Chills songs. Unfortunately, he only does a handful of them now. The best of the lot – I Wish I Was Beautiful For You – always gets an airing though. A beautiful paean to physical insecurites, but love anyway.

Most importantly, there was a handful of new songs performed. A song about living on people’s couches, and full band versions of two tracks on the latest Candle Records Sampler, Hamper (out now) – Happiness Is A Chemical and My Life A Blur. The album is apparently finished and will be out later this year. I also keep forgetting to purchase the Candle Records DVD with a live gig of Darren’s. It’s going straight to the want list.

SITE: Darren Hanlon – official site
SITE: Candle Records

MP3: Darren Hanlon – Beta Losers
– Original version from the compilation Banter (Candle Records, 1999)
MP3: Darren Hanlon – I Wish I Was Beautiful For You
– From the album Little Chills (Candle Records, 2004)

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