New Starts

More Break-Up Songs

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New Starts are a spikey, fresh sounding band recalling the poppier ends of new wave and angular guitar rock. Their influences include The Cars, Breeders, Bay City Rollers, The Velvet Underground and ZZ Top.

Lead singer Darren Hayman has his own long career running from the late 90s with John Peel faves Hefner to his more recent thematic and historical albums dealing with the English Civil War, William Morris and forgotten rural idylls.

“I wanted a band again,” says Hayman, “and not a band that just backed me up and played my old songs. When we form our first bands in our teens we just find some friends and work through the musical differences. I usually look for players who play in a way I’m used to. This time I looked for variance and was led by people’s personality.”

Guitarist Joely Smith [of South London’s noise-pop adults and recently DIY-punks Fresh] was recommended by a mutual friend who said, ‘She makes everything better’. Hayman and Smith shared a coffee and agreed on the correct number of guitar pedals and decided to proceed without an audition.

“There is a tendency for me to make my chords too pretty. Joely cuts against that and plays in the opposite direction.” Hayman is a fan of rules and constraints and employed a new, oblique strategy on this record. “Even though I wrote all the songs, I wanted the songs to belong to everyone during arrangement. I decided that I would say ‘yes’ to every suggestion from the band, regardless of my instinct.”

This made the songs warp and bend into new shapes and ensured that the record was the product of four individuals. Bassist Giles Barrett and drummer Will Connor come from funky afro beat influenced band Tigercats. “Pretty much the only rhythm I use, left to my own devices, is the ‘road runner’ rhythm. Will takes to care to find where the drum beat can be and we always end up somewhere I didn’t expect.”

More Break Up Songs is a collection of 12 Break Up songs because Darren broke up with someone. Again. “I suck’, he says, “But it’s never anyone’s fault. It makes me very sad but I do have to work through these things in song and there’s always something to learn. I try to make songs about breakups that could be understood by both parties. I’m not interested in nasty songs.”

Opening song ‘Little Stone in my Heart’ blisters along with Joely’s wildest guitars. The protagonist will do anything to make things right, but nothing ever is.

‘Under the Striplights’ has driving, choppy, incessant riffs, and is about the need to be anywhere but somewhere other than here. We could be under the moon or under the strip lights as long as we have each other.

Another barely kept rule that Darren instigated on this album was that each song would be a tonal equivalent to one from The Velvet Underground’s third album. To that end ‘Don’t Need Persuading’ is this record’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ with the narrator being unable to break free of a vortex, knowing they will stay the night against all better judgment.

‘I’ve had a long standing distrust of the guitar,’ says Darren, ‘despite it being my primary instrument for twenty years. I thought it was time I made a record with two guitars and drums and bass. I wanted it to be bright, immediate and young sounding, despite the fact I’m old. We recorded it in four days and I think this might be the record a lot of my audience has wanted me to make for a long time.’


A Little Stone
Under The Striplights
Tease The Corners
Don’t Need Persuading
What I Specifically Love
Home Becomes A Lantern
Asbestos Roof
A Place To Be
I Think You Need To Say I Love You
I Was Trying To Make You Miss Me
Let Me Start Again

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