100 for 2000 – #45. Darren Hanlon – Little Chills

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2004 – #5. Darren Hanlon- Little Chills
(Candle)

Our story of Darren Hanlon continues. After the minor success of Hello Stranger, Darren did a lot of touring, both in Australia and abroad. When he returned to us, he made an album that was far less upbeat than his previous offerings. Little Chills stripped away the humour for something sweeter and more touching.

It was painful going to Darren Hanlon gigs at this point. It seemed most people came to laugh – which is fine, Hanlon definitely set himself up for that. But when the funny songs about bicycles and beta tapes dried up, it seemed like people would laugh at any clever pun. “Oh”, they would think “That was the joke. I better laugh here.”

Little Chills has Darren’s best song – I Wish I Was Beautiful For You. One of those once-in-a-career songs, I can imagine people reinterpreting and covering this song for years to come. A pretty little piece on the place of good looks in the story of true love.

The travel was sneaking into his songs. Brooklyn Bridge, Ends If the City and even the short, sharp opener Wrong Turn… there is a journey on this album (highlighted by the cover). And it’s a transient album for Hanlon too. His first bid as a serious songwriter – in say, the Magnetic Fields mold – it didn’t really connect with the public as much as Hello Stranger.

To be honest – it is my least favourite of his albums, yet I still love every song. even the only ‘joke’ song – (There’s Not Enough Songs About) Squash – is fun, and makes more sense when you find out it was written for a friend’s band.

I still went to every Darren Hanlon show, but enjoyed them a little less each time. And maybe it was me as well – I was outgrowing the jingle jangle Candle Records stuff, as well as cutesy power pop.

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