Darren Hayes' new single "Black Out The Sun," which hits retail Oct. 2, serves up a quintessential performance from one of our enduring fave singer/songwriters—whose creativity simply never ebbs.
With upcoming fourth solo album Secret Codes and Battleships, due Oct. 17, he again hearkens the beloved pure pop template—after 2007's more experimental This Delicate Thing We Made and 2004's The Tension and the Spark—that made Hayes a global superstar during his 1990s' run as lead of duo Savage Garden. In fact, their 1997 No. 1 "Truly Madly Deeply" is the most played song in the history of the Billboard AC survey.
The percussion-fueled ballad, driven by Hayes' haunting falsetto, follows peppy dance-driven single "Talk Talk Talk" and its strikingly clever "Out of Touch" remix and B-side cover of Madonna's "Angel." "Sun," however, dims the lights, with a lament to lost love, as strings swirl and swoop like a chorus of orchestral angels trying to make all right with the world again. Hayes sings, "There's nobody else who can hurt like you hurt me/Now all the love's gone, and nothing grows here and I just feel wrong, so just black out the sun."
Fortunately, "Sun" is not reflective of Hayes' relationship with hubby Richard Cullen. It was written with & produced by Carl Falk in Sweden (and recorded the day Michael Jackson died).
Secret Codes, meanwhile, returns Hayes to a major record label, hopefully giving his career the promotional muscle it deserves from Mercury/Universal in Australia and Europe.
The dark, moody video clip (below), directed by Grant Marshall and featuring choreography by Hayes' sister Claire Marshall, utilizes a full soundstage and a major-league cinematic projector that employs a vintage anamorphic lenses from the 1970s. And it's fun to see our Darren with free-flowing longer hair again, too. Man, this is one of the best tracks I've heard this year, bar none.