Dan Haywood's practice exists in the liminal space between folk, pop and outer-musics. Indebted to troubadour cultures as much as natural history, psychogeography and centuries of British poetry and prose, his work takes singer-songwriter culture to the edge of the cliff, tip-toeing off the precipice, occasionally flying freely over uncharted territory.
For this new one-track album Dan uses the aesthetic language of American music (the cyclical dirge of blues and rock'n'roll, the organ funk of r'n'b, the rhythmic syntax of hip-hop) and folds them into a subjective template for his 'Country Dustbin': a song that attempts to come to terms with the clutter of a life in the 20th & 21st century. He utilises the Country Dustbin, in his own words, as “a bottomless pit when you need to dispose of a traumatic episode, a confession booth, a time capsule… an alembic to distil experience, a torch to illuminate a mystery, an arena for a reckoning.”
From Los Angeles to Peckham, from Armenia to Perry Barr, switching between autobiographical scenes and stolen observations of the lives of British people, Haywood conjures poetry that walks a tightrope across the joyful, the sad, the wondrous, the banal. Unburdened by dogmatism or linearity, there are glints of Ted Hughes, J.H. Prynne, Robert Burton and Bob Dylan, whipping his observations to allegorical and metaphysical heights. Each syllable is wedded to the band’s hypnotic beat as organic sounds unfurl throughout the 53-minute duration of the piece.
Following a slew of ambitious projects, beginning in public with his star-gazing New Hawks triple LP in 2010, and more recently a series from his high gain outfit Pill Fangs, 'Country Dustbin' finds an uncompromising artist playfully pushing songcraft to new places.
“The best songwriter you’ve probably never heard of has delivered another diamond” Record Collector
“Very far out” David Berman
1 - Country Dustbin [52:52]
Dan Haywood‘s reputation as a UK songwriter/storyteller/performer of the highest distinction is gathering steam, on the back of his slow-burn classic of a debut triple album, 'Dan Haywood's New Hawks', as well as a string of choice tours and shows with fellow sonic nomads including Josephine Foster, A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Michael Hurley and The Tallest Man On Earth.
Latest album Dapple, out now on Southern Bird, finds him in the great outdoors (The Forest Of Bowland, to be precise), delivering a sweet and lyrical song cycle that repaints the English folk pastoral in bright and beautiful tones.