# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Darren Hayman and Emma Kupa - Boy, Look at What You Can't Have Now

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 2 / 3 / 2014

Darren Hayman and Emma Kupa - Boy, Look at What You Can't Have Now
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: 7"


Chaotic but melodic vinyl only single from Darren Hayman and former Standard Fare front woman Emma Kupa

In between a succession of conceptual and thematic LPs, Darren Hayman has (quietly) been operating a parallel career as a singles artist in recent years. Last year’s ‘Old Man Don’t Waste Your Time’ was a brief and unexpected diversion into indie-disco-pop, while the bonus tracks on 2011’s ‘I Taught You How To Dance’ single found him covering Roxy Music, Eddy Grant and the Kinks. Hot on the heels of 2013’s ‘Blue House’ EP, which found Hayman revisiting some of the themes and textures of his early work as a solo-artist, comes a limited edition 7”. Hayman found himself writing a melody that reminded him of Standard Fare (Sheffield indie three-piece who broke up recently). Rather than risk the kind of heavy-handed legal action only a moderately successful, recently split indie band can muster, he concluded that the only proper thing to do was to ask singer Emma Kupa to join him on a duet. Like many of Standard Fare’s songs, “Boy, Look At What You Can’t Have Now” has an acerbic lyric and a tune that nags away at you. It won’t sound catchy on the first listen, but you’ll be humming it by the tenth. Not how singles normally work – but it was the reason why Standard Fare had more shelf-life that many of their too-predictable indie-pop contemporaries and it’s why this song works too. Unusually for Hayman, this track is built around a distorted electric guitar break. But there are still plenty of overlapped keyboards and electronic effects bubbling away underneath the guitars to keep fans of his recent work happy. Apparently, the aim was to make the song sound like Bryan Adams and Mel C. Frankly, I don’t know what madness came over them when they decided this. The original Bryan and Mel collaboration was only a YouTube click away. They must surely know that, with the exception of some rather untasteful wails from Mel towards the end, ‘When You’re Gone’ is a two-part harmony. Darren and Emma don’t even get the basics right – they trade lines through the verses and only sing together properly during the chorus. It does, however, give me the opportunity to digress with a bit of trivia. Did you know that Mel C is the only recording artist to top the UK singles charts as part of a quintet, a quartet, a duo and as a solo artist? You do now. (Not only that, she was also part of a choir of pop luminaries who sang on a cover of ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ that raised money for the Hillsborough victims campaign and reached #1 in 2012). Anyway… The flipside (‘Outside Looking In’) finds Hayman back in familiar territory, with a gentle fingerpicked guitar line knotted into pre-programmed beats and keyboards. Kupa provides backing vocals, but the verses are all sung by Hayman alone. Most Darren Hayman songs are tied very specifically to a place or a time. This song, unusually, is narrated towards an unnamed third party, whose circumstances are never revealed. It’s a rather sweet plea for someone who’s become estranged from their social circle to come back inside. There’s not much to choose between the two songs on this single. The A-side is a new sound with a new collaborator, while the B-side is an unusual departure from Hayman’s normal songwriting ticks. Apparently, Darren and Emma are now working on a whole album of duets. This single is a more-than-promising start.

Track Listing:-
1 Boy, Look at What You Can't Have Now
2 Outside Looking In

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors