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Monday, January 08, 2007

Electroqueer Of The Year - Darren Hayes


Believe it or not, we have never done a post entirely dedicated to our music hero, Darren Hayes.  So with that, we are today officially naming Darren our 2006 Electroqueer of the Year.

To give you a little back story about how we came to discover Darren...let us take you on a trip...

Like a lot of people we know, we weren't really Savage Garden fans over the years.  We had their debut album and liked their radio friendly songs like 'I Want You', 'To The Moon And Back' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' but that was about it.  When we moved to the UK, Darren Hayes went solo and we liked his debut hit 'Insatiable' a lot.  It was enough for us to pick up his solo album 'Spin'

We listened to 'Spin' once and that was it.  Then the following summer, we went back to the US and found ourselves on a road-trip in Seattle with our good friend Billiam and we decided to play 'Spin' on the open roads.  It was a good solid album.  'Strange Relationship' was a cool song, 'Good Enough' was very beautifully written but it was one song which really opened our eyes to Darren...it was a song called 'Like It Or Not'

And, here is a lyrical sampling from that song which later became our personal theme song about romance.

"Now I'm standing at a terminal waiting to connect to another plane.  And if I told you I just canceled my flight to America, would you call me insane?  Everything I have has been neatly contained into the contents of a Samsonite bag.  Me a laptop, two suitcases and I'm coming to see you...whether you like it or not."

To everyone else, these lyrics may sound completely simple, but to us, it is savagely beautiful poetry.  After the road-trip, we decided to go see Darren live in concert at the Hammersmith Apollo and he was absolutely amazing.  Luckily for us, that moment was captured on film and later released a few months ago in the concert documentary DVD called 'Too Close For Comfort' which is an honest, heartfelt portrayal of how Darren has grown and learned over the years based on false promises of super-stardom after the demise of Savage Garden.


After going through a metamorphosis as such following the events of what later became the 'Too Close For Comfort' film, Darren released his electronic album, 'The Tension And The Spark'.  We bought this album the day it came out and it quickly became our musical soundtrack.  'Pop!ular' was a fun experimental electronic gem and Darren was starting to look a whole lot sexier in his personal appearances.  We saw Darren live at gay super-clubs 'Heaven' and 'G.A.Y.' in London and we quickly figured out that 'TATS' was most definitely his coming out album.  It was the most honest and touching album we had ever heard in our lives. 'Darkness' was a song that described how we felt in our darkest moments in life and love.  'I Like The Way' was perfectly written and to us was very autobiographical in describing how sometimes we are all looking for love in all the wrong places.  The first time we heard 'Unlovable' we cried and so did Darren's mother we hear. 'Hero' felt extremely personal as the weight of trying to support others often felt too much to bear in life.  'Love And Attraction' was a very brave song - it basically said, "Yeah I like boys, I like girls and it's difficult and makes me confused."   

1254716585_m 'TATS' was later followed by the small 'Dark Light Tour' where Darren performed 'TATS' with some re-invented Savage Garden hits including the stunning 'Bow Down And Break Me' which gave us a new electronic interpretation of the Savage Garden hit 'Break Me Shake Me' mixed with Nine Inch Nails 'Head Like A Hole'.  Fucking brilliant.  'TATS' didn't do so well commercially though.  Radio was afraid of it and Darren's record company didn't know how to promote it...for the fact it was probably too gay.  That didn't stop Darren though, he went on tour again and it was captured on the new DVD called 'A Big Night In With Darren Hayes' which maintained the beautiful concert stage production that existed with the 'Dark Light Tour'.  The record company also released a Best of Savage Garden album which gave us two new Darren Hayes songs including 'So Beautiful' and 'California' and Darren Hayes officially came out of the closet.

Darren recently married his boyfriend of two years, Richard Cullen in the UK and to us, he most certainly is our hero.  He is in fact, our Electroqueer Of The Year.  We are looking forward to Darren's independent double disc release this year and we will be there at that fabulous London location in August to see you sing again.  We hope to one day get to meet you so we can say 'Thank You' in person.  Never has such an artist been so brave and taught us a lot about ourselves through song.  It is for artists such as Darren Hayes that Electroqueer exists.

Darren Hayes MySpace

Darren Hayes Offical Website




So Beautiful


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I had pretty much the same response to Darren Hayes and Savage Garden that you outlined here - liked their early radio hits, and Affirmation had a lot of good album tracks in addition to some a couple brilliant singles. I listened to Spin a couple times as well and then promptly forgot about it. But for whatever reason, I recently drug it back out and gave it a good listen. And it's brilliant. Especially "Like It Or Not." Anyone that can work the words Samsonite bag into a lyric and not sound completely and utterly cheesy is ok in my book.

I purchased TATS recently as well and I'm sort of getting to know it. But I do love Darren's music - I'm also a big fan of Casey Stratton and many of his fans also are Darren Hayes fans. So as I blogged recently, I may be late to the party, but better late than never.


I've been a big supporter of Darren's music from day one. I think the thing that touches me the most about him is that his music is never fake. When you hear a melody, or listen to the lyrics, those are from his soul. Not because someone told him it would sell better if he did it this way or tweaked it that way. He's always marched to his own drum. In fact, I think he's taken some real crap for not going along with what was deemed marketable. For example, while I'm really impressed with Justin Timberlake's vocal abilities, it's his willingness to take off his shirt on the cover of magazines and the like that got him the backing of the record label and Darren cast aside. Darren wasn't willing to play that game, he wanted to be known for his catalog of songs, not his catalog of half naked videos and photo shoots.

Thank you so much for making Darren Electroqueer Of The Year. I can't think of a single person who deserves it more.

Cindy - thanks for the really nice comment on the Darren Hayes post. I couldn't agree with you more. Darren really does have the best fans in the world!

Couldn't have picked a better man for Electroqueer of the year! Darren is amazing and I love that he's got such substance in a world of music that seems to have very little these days.

Thank you for writing the article. I like darren hayes song is not because of his face. I just like his voice and he sound real.

Well, I definately support & cheer your choice as Darren for EQ of the year. Ive LOVED his music since about 2000, & I've adored every album hes produced- but just as he himself has been evolving musically, so had my taste in music.. so we've reached a great point now i'd say with his AMAZING new songs.

Darren has meant a LOT to me over the years- especially through my childhood in looking towards gay role models... & hey we all know that Darren wasnt officially out- but his lyrics certainly carried a lot of hidden meaning that meant a lot to me :)

Im just so glad that hes finally open & SO proud about who he is. Makes us feel proud dont you think?


I adore Darren, and I think that because his backing music is so good, it can occasionally take the attention away from the deep lyrics that he writes... He desserves any positive recognition, because he is such a rare talent and incredibly under-rated. I love Casey Stratton too, like 'For Reasons Unexplained' and 'Harvest', verey similar, but Darren is so much better...Well done Mr Hayes! Love you always! x


Thanks for a great article. I remember meeting Darren when I was about 16 backstage after one of the 'Future of Earthly Delights' concerts in Newcastle, Australia (SG's first tour). He was so spunky and I wanted to spend the night with him but he was very graceful (or maybe he just has better taste) and said I wasn't his type. I secretly hope one day I'll get to pop the question again and see how it goes.....



I keep finding that people who appreciate Darren, REALLY appreciate Darren. I'm a songwriter myself, and am madly in love with his work. He is a complete lyrical genuis. "Like it or Not" was also my favorite song on Spin... and I love how he goes from something that simply stated to the complete opposite side in "Tension and the Spark" - he is AMAZING and I love the fact that so many people realize it. It makes me happy. Tahnks for this.

I just discovered this... and well. I´ve been listening to Darren´s music from the very beginning on, and well, sometimes, it was the only thing that could ease my pain.

"Never has such an artist been so brave and taught us a lot about ourselves through song."

Yes. Yes yes yes. Absolutely.

Thank you.

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