Wednesday, August 31, 2005

MP3: Hefner - Four Perfect Singles

Okay now here's a band that never really got the acclaim that they deserved. Much loved amongst Smiths and Belle & Sebastian indie-nerd types the world (or country) over, Hefner released 4 (or 5 if you include Boxing Hefner) amazing albums and far too many great pop singles to list (though i'll do that in a minute).

Hefner formed in 1997 around singer/songwriter Darren Hayman, released the 7" single A Better Friend and were signed to Too Pure shortly after. As I said, the band released four albums, Breaking God's Heart in 1998, the incredible The Fidelity Wars in 1999, We Love The City in 2000 and finally Dead Media in 2001. Also available is a rather great compilation of early singles and bsides, 2000's Boxing Hefner. All are essential purchases, and luckily are all soon to be re-released with bonus demo tracks, liner notes and other assorted gubbins.

Want a list of faultlessly great singles, which should rightfully make every other overrated bunch of indie twerps cry in envy? Okay how about: Better Friend/Christian Girls, Lee Remick, Pull Yourself Together (which i seem to remember old Llamo playing every night for a year), Love Will Destroy Us In The End, The Sweetness Lies Within, Hymn For The Alcohol, Hymn For The Cigarettes, I Took Her Love For Granted, Revelations EP, Good Fruit, The Greedy Ugly People, Half A Life, Alan Bean, and last but not least Trouble Kid.

In other words, Hefner had the great 7" single down to a fine art, and so all four of the songs i'm uploading were singles, and all are pretty much perfect. The first is The Sad Witch, which to me is definitely the highlight of Breaking God's Heart (which i've always thought was slightly patchy), and just one of the best structured pop songs i've ever heard. Hefner had a great knack for building up the last minute or so of a song until it just couldn't seem to get any better, and then stopping before it could get any worse, and this is a great example. And it'll probably be stuck in your head for days (as it was when I first listened to it again). I think it goes to show the quality of the The Fidelity Wars by the fact that the other three songs are all taken from it. All you need to do is listen really, and marvel at how bands like this can be ignored by the majority of the record-buying public. If this post makes at least one more person buy some Hefner records (possibly whilst wearing NHS specs and drinking cider) then my job shall be complete.

Aaanyway Hefner frontman Darren continues to release a bunch of great music both from his other band The French, under his own name and as part of bluegrass supergroup Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee. And no parts of that last sentence are a joke. However recently there have been some Hefner reformation rumours, but even if that's not true we can still look forward to a Best of compilation and a double record called Catfight featuring 43 completely unreleased songs. Must stop drooling. If these tunes spark your interest, tons of Hefner and post-Hefner info plus a shop and the usual other stuff is available at the official website. Enjoy.

Download: The Sad Witch - MP3 3.13mb (rapidshare)
Download: The Hymn For The Alcohol - MP3 4.29mb (rapidshare)
Download: The Hymn For The Cigarettes - MP3 4.50mb (rapidshare)
Download: I Took Her Love For Granted - MP3 3.00mb (rapidshare)


Anonymous grignr said...

Your job is complete: I just picked up Fidelity Wars and Dead Media off Amazon.

6:34 pm, August 31, 2005  
Blogger craig said...

hey nice post I wrote about Darren's new music here:

6:18 pm, September 01, 2005  
Blogger JG said...

this is super best! ta

12:49 pm, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous wemblee said...

I frickin' LOVE Hefner and never thought they got the recognition they deserved. I never really got into B&S or bands that sound similar, but Hefner owns my heart and soul. Thank you so much for making this post (found it via Hype Machine) and I'm so glad someone's pimpin' The Fidelity Wars; I think it's one of the best albums of that year.

6:55 am, September 06, 2006  
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