Well this all a bit sudden, isn’t it? Darren Hayes has just uploaded his brand new music video ‘Black Out The Sun’, merely hours after premiering his new Australian-only single ‘Bloodstained Heart’. We are all rather spoilt for choice.
‘Black Out The Sun’ serves as Dazza’s second international single from the forthcoming Secret Codes and Battleships album. Frankly, this was not what I expected from Australia’s underrated prince of pop. Not in 2011 anyway.
You’re instantly transported to another pop realm when the Middle Eastern-inflected beats drop and rich orchestral strings start charming the ears. When I said “transported to another pop realm”, I really do mean in a time travel kind of way. Not to imply that Middle Eastern beats will ever date but in the context of the mainstream Western Top 40 – you have to wonder, when was the last time anyone rocked this sound?
There was a period in the early to mid 00s when Pussycat Dolls‘ ‘Buttons’ was happening and Timbaland was heavy on the Indian and Middle Eastern beats, but really, the last time I heard it was probably when Celine Dion recorded Delta‘s ‘Eyes On Me’ for the Taking Chances album. It’s interesting to hear Darren bringing this flavour back to the mainstream and I guess – given present pop trends – venture out of the expected.
There really is no better description to anoint this track than Darren’s own poetic words, calling it a “beautiful black rose of love lost”. And in a lot of ways, ‘Black Out The Sun’ is reminiscent of his second solo single ‘Strange Relationship’.
Director Grant Marshall – who did Darren’s ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Crush (1980)’ videos – made sure the production rightfully reflects the Arabian Nights feel alluded to in the song’s composition. The video was shot in foreign and exotic Brisbane, to be exact, the same Village Roadshow studio where Peter Pan and Chronicles of Narnia were filmed.
Poetic, dramatic with a tinge of darkness – if you think about it, ‘Black Out The Sun’ really is the quintessential Darren Hayes pop track. It’s those three aforementioned elements that have coloured his discography all the way from Savage Garden through to his first three solo albums – regardless of whether the soundscape was radio-ready pop or cold electronica, we can always find that glimmer of drama and melancholy pulling us deeper into his records.
Darren Hayes will release ‘Black Out The Sun’ in the UK on 2 October, no doubt to coincide with the album launch and his UK Secret Codes and Battleships tour.