I've come to really like this band, but when I first heard them, I wasn't so keen. Like many great bands, Hefner feature a highly distinctive singer, who can take some time to grow on you. This simple 3 and a half minute pop song has an engaging arrangement, in which the piano, drums and guitar are superbly complemented in the chorus by synth, brass, and some great backing vocals. The chorus is quite glorious, with a chord sequence that somehow reminds me of the group Mercury Rev's very best songs. The words go very well with the emotional music as well: 'Lost feelings of love come flooding back/Every time you cry/ you give me little heart attacks/Love seems strongest when it's new/but that's something I can't prove/I can't prove that I love you...'
The only other reference point that occurs to me is Pulp - as the song builds, lead singer Darren Hayman's delivery becomes ever more exhuberant, like that of Jarvis Cocker in the best Pulp songs. Looking at the CD, I notice that the excellent backing vocals are by Amelia Fletcher, who if I remember correctly did some Wedding Present backing vocals, and was the singer in the Sarah records band 'Heavenly'. Anyway, this is a really infectious track, highly recommended.
from We Love the City (Too Pure pur 106cd), available on CD
13 Jul 05 ·kkkerplunkkk: Good taste my friend! That is one of my favourite Hefner songs. Should have been a huge hit, it only made number 50 in the UK charts for 1 week. It did go straight in at 1 in the indie charts though!
This one of the most insanely catchy and infectious tracks I've heard in a long time. Opens with a sparse bongo beat, accompanied by 'mouth percussion'. A German voice sounding slightly like aging British radio DJ Tommy Vance starts talking ('Der man, das Zigarillo'), before a catchy piano riff and jaunty easy listening chorus come in. A fun track - nice that compilations like 'pop shopping 2' come out and save things like this from total obscurity.
available on CD - Pop Shopping 2 (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!)
A near-perfect take on this classic song. Ronnie dispenses with vocals, instead building a beautiful mood with some great strings, a relentless beat and percussive guitar. The bluesey melody is carried delicately by the piano. I'm not really getting it across here, but the track is astounding - astonishingly addictive and well recorded, building wonderfully to a warm and incredibly groovy climax.
A great track that comes in two parts. The first is a sweet repetitive pop tune with electronic piano, synthesized strings, pleasant guitar chords, and wordless 'ba ba' vocals. Just before the three minute mark, it begins to mutate gradually, until it turns into a glorious early New Order-style sound, with a piercing, punky guitar sound and a loud bassline. The vocal elements from early in the track then come back in. A great fusion of different styles.
A beautiful guitar pop track, with superbly recorded 12 string and electric guitars, and an immaculately serious, yet shy vocal. Hearing it now, I'm amazed at how well this track has aged. To me, the beauty of the song lies more in the intricacy of its guitar parts than any musical or lyrical innovation. The guitar playing recalls the best indie guitar music of the 80s, particularly Johnny Marr. I remember seeing the band not long after this record came out. The guitarist seemed very shy, and faced the side of the stage, staring into his Rickenbacker. To cap all of this brilliance, this song features a superb fake ending, after which the instrumental refrain comes back in for a final few glorious moments.
from So Said Kay (Sarah Records SARAH 38) available on CD - Where'd You Learn To Kiss That Way? (Shinkansen Recordings)
10 Jun 04 ·farawayfriend: The field mice are one of the great unknown pop bands... a truly gorgeous song by an amazing artist.