There’s something about Darren Hayessongs that make me feel safe, and warm and at peace. The familiarity of his voice, which I have adored for half of my life, and the imagery his lyrics paint. His songs speak to me – I often feel they’re written about me, and I know many fans who feel this way too. There are not many other artists who I relate to so much – I could count them on one hand.
For years I’ve immersed myself in The Lover After Me, Dublin Sky, Darkness and Who Would Have Thought?. The words and sounds enveloped me like a rich sky, there’s a warmth to them. I like the darkness, the sadness. It’s humanising. I especially like walking through cold city streets listening to these songs through headphones, pacing to the beat, feeling like Darren is my only company in the concrete jungle.
And now with the release of Secret Codes and Battleships, I immerse myself again. It’s been on constant repeat since Friday. He’s the music I’ve been missing.
As I mentioned previously, I identify so much with this album. So many lyrics feel like they pertain to what’s gone on for me since June. The lyrics are comforting yet hard to hear. Don’t Give Up (“I want to run to run away from this, but I wouldn’t leave a sinking a ship, without you in it there’s no point to our story…”), Hurt (it’s everything I was warned about), Talk Talk Talk and Bloodstained Heart (it’s so comforting, I feel looked after and loved when I listen) resonate with me most. Cruel Cruel World reminds me of the connection I once had.
In the dark hours, Black Out The Sun makes my throat thick and eyes well with tears. The emotion of Darren’s voice paired with the fated story in the song feels like my reality.
“…switch off the stars and paint the sky blacklove isn’t ever coming backthere’s no use in imagining a world without youyour love was like a drug i was addicted tobecause there’s nobody else who can hurt like you hurt meI don’t want to be lonelyand there’s no other way there’s no joy there’s no meaningjust this hollowed out feeling…”
It’s The Siren’s Call that has become the light in my darkness – it has easily become a favourite. It’s gentle, like a sailboat slowly drifting at sea, and lonely too. It feels a bit like the mornings I’ve woken up realising things won’t be the same. I think of whales moaning, and a black bird carrying me through the air to a happier place. And like Darren sings, I can almost taste happiness.
“…But I can almost taste happiness
It’s such a long way off
But I can almost feel your embrace
Above the siren’s callAnd I’ve seen a hint of it
Just knowing it exists I know that I must try
And I’ve caught a glimpse of it
One moment just one kiss
From the corner of my eye
Of better days gone by.”
For so many days now I just wish that I could forget, and feel truly happy again, and soon. It seems like a long journey, but I feel these songs on Secret Codes and Battleships will help these feelings pass.
“and i want so much to believe that i won’t disappear in the water that i won’t always be swimming against the tide…”
Thank you Darren. I know next week when I see you play live (twice) there will be tears.