Darren Hanlon Little Chills

Ten years ago, most people would discover Darren Hanlon on carefully compiled mix-tapes made by caring friends who just had to let the world know about this wonderfully talented songwriter from down under. He’s just so damned good that it only takes a single song for most people to realise that they have to rush out and buy everything he had recorded. Hanlon has a way with words that makes every song on Little Chills capable of conjuring up the emotion of his choice with a simple turn of phrase. Fortunately, he does so with an apparent sense of humour, so it stops short of being straight-forward manipulation. Instead, he writes songs about love affairs revolving around heavy metal T-shirts, the joys of playing squash and the value of old-fashioned record stores. He produces vivid snapshots of moments that will have listeners smiling in recognition. There is a slight element of "heard it all before” in that Little Chills isn’t particularly different from anything else he’s recorded previously, but when his recorded output is around ten songs every two years then every single moment is so precious that it really doesn’t matter at all. Little Chills is the kind of record that is impossible to resist simply because it wins you over with its numerous charms. Darren Hanlon goes from strength to strength and the world is a better place as a result. (Candle)