Breaking God’s Heart

Too Pure/Beggars Banquet

I’ll wager that “having a voice that could break God’s heart” has appeared in a review of Hefner — vocalist Darren Hayman could certainly live up to that comment. And just as Dutch and New Zealand pop genres have developed a very distinct sound, so have the Scots, and Hefner’s sound falls squarely in that bracket. Actually, I’m not sure if Hefner is Scottish or not, but they sure sound it. Songwriter and vocalist Hayman easily sets up shop in that thin gap between the sugary and the discordant, and his voice makes up for its moments of weakness with a conviction so strong it easily carries everything, as if it weighed no more than a feather. Things are kept simple but heartfelt — the liner notes end with the message “Buy More Beach Boys records.”

And just as it has become cliche to sing about the poetry of the mundane, Hefner takes it on with grace, in songs like “A Hymn for the Postal Service,” a rememberance of mail romance that yields the classic line “it makes me guess the circumstance under which she wrote it, why she used the f-word when she never even spoke it” and “The Librarian,” where doomed infatuation is summed up with “… he will never kiss her eyelids.” A wonderful addition to my growing pantheon of Scottish heroes. Beggars Banquet, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10012

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