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Darren Hayes

This Delicate Thing He’s Made

Integrity and pop music don’t always go hand in hand (just ask Britney Spears when the last time was she wrote a song). In fact, it’s always been rare in the case of what the public largely likes to call manufactured pop singers, but there are certainly exceptions to the rule. Gladly, Darren Hayes is one of those singers who’d like to prove the critics wrong.

As part of the Australian pop duo Savage Garden, Hayes and his musical partner Daniel Jones toured the world in the late 90s making music that was more adult contemporary than bubble gum. A few #1 hits in the States and a dozen or so Aria’s (Australian Grammies) later, the pair called it quits. Deciding instead to pursue a solo career, Hayes released in 2001 his debut Spin, which sold well enough at home but saw little reaction stateside. And after the critical success but commercial failure of his second album, 2005’s brilliantly dark The Tension And The Spark, Hayes parted ways with Columbia Records essentially to become his own man. That’s when things started to change.

To accompany this dramatic shift in his professional life, Hayes decided to make some very drastic changes in his personal life as well. Never one to openly discuss his sexuality, in July 2006 Hayes opted to finally come out by officially entering into a civil partnership in London. When discussing the impetus for this new take on life, Hayes credits his relationship: “I’m proud of who I am, and after what felt like an eternity, I’m finally in a place where my heart is secure and content. And I can finally make sense of all of the searching.”

He was also quick to transfer that sentiment into the recording studio. After what seems like an eternity in the fickle world of pop, Hayes is finally set to release some new material on August 20, 2007 via his own record label, Powdered Sugar. The new album, titled This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, has been a labor of love. Comprised of 25 tracks, the two disc set has already received preliminary acclaim.

Earlier in the year, Hayes previewed some of the material online via his official myspace profile and his official website. He released the tracks “Who Would Have Thought” and “Step Into The Light” as teasers of his forthcoming album. Accompanied by animated videos and complete with club remixes, the tracks have been a success in terms of fan reaction and club play. Since then, the rollout of new material has only garnered even more praise.

The first single off This Delicate Thing We’ve Made is “On The Verge Of Something Beautiful.” The song received its premiere on the pop music site Popjustice promptly named it their “Song Of The Day,” and announced that “everything Darren Hayes has recorded in recent years has been totally amazing.” Without giving too much away, they even went so far as to describe further tracks from the album to be positively Prince-esque. Others have compared his new work to David Bowie and Kate Bush. High praise indeed for someone who only two years ago was left without a record company.

With all the buzz surrounding the impending release of his new album, Hayes is taking his act on the road. He is currently in the middle of a short club tour of the United States which has been receiving excellent reviews. In some cities, tickets sold out in under 10 minutes. Later in the year, Hayes will unveil details of a theatre tour of the UK and Australia dubbed the Time Machine Tour and designed by Willie Williams, who in the past has worked with U2 among others.

For all the accomplishments he has already achieved throughout his career, perhaps the future is what looks brightest for Darren Hayes. “My whole career as a big commercial pop star was fed through self-hatred, basically. It was all about escapism in a fraudulent way.” Free of all these burdens, Hayes is now happily out both personally and professionally. That sort of personal freedom is a delicate thing indeed.

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