Pro­lific muso’s gritty ditty a win­ner

Geraldton Guardian - - ENTERTAINMENT - Francesca Mann

If you asked singer-song­writer Darcy Hay how many songs he’s writ­ten over the years, his an­swer might shock you.

“I don’t keep tabs on it but I think there’s about 450 songs,” he said.

“I’m pretty rest­less — I tend to bang them out and for­get about them.

“I even wrote one this morn­ing (Oc­to­ber 31). I wasn’t plan­ning on it but I had an idea and the next thing you know, you’ve got a song on your hands.”

A sud­den and un­ex­pected burst of mu­si­cal in­spi­ra­tion seems to be the source of most of Hay’s songs; ef­fort­lessly turn­ing a morsel of an idea into a recorded song — al­beit on a hand­held record­ing de­vice — in one sitting.

But the quick turn­around works per­fectly for the 26-year-old, who re­cently picked up a Song­writ­ers, Com­posers and Lyri­cists As­so­ci­a­tion award for a song he wrote while in Moony­oonooka. Hay re­ceived a fes­ti­val of orig­i­nal mu­sic com­mended award in the demo open cat­e­gory for his song The Old Farm Debt.

“I think I was out by the bridge at Moony­oonooka with my gui­tar and it just kind of came to me,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a weird song, it’s a ru­ral mur­der-mys­tery and a gritty piece of mu­sic.

“I wasn’t go­ing to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion; I’ve been entering for years and they give vi­cious feed­back. You just get your soul crushed ev­ery time.

“I def­i­nitely wasn’t ex­pect­ing (to win) and I was the only artist from WA, which is a hell of a boost.”

The award-win­ning song is one of eight tracks to fea­ture on Hay’s lat­est release West­ern Songs.

With most of the songs recorded at home in one take, Hay de­scribed the EP as a “blue­print” for what he wanted to do next.

“It’s more of an in­side my work­ing process be­fore I can get them done to stu­dio qual­ity,” he said.

“(The EP) came up very sud­denly . . . I was lis­ten­ing back to some demos and I didn’t mind them.

“This feels more co­he­sive than other demos I’ve done.”

Fans of Hay’s folk-blues-coun­try fu­sion may recog­nise the EP’s open­ing track,

The Great Gree­nough Prison Es­cape.

Orig­i­nally called The Run­away Boys, Hay whipped up the song back in July when po­lice con­tin­ued to search for the prison es­capees.

Hay’s sig­na­ture style of sto­ry­telling can be felt through­out West­ern Songs; each song spin­ning a dif­fer­ent yarn, draw­ing the lis­tener in.

West­ern Songs is avail­able to down­load for free.

Pic­ture: Kym Jef­feries

Ger­ald­ton’s Darcy Hay has penned about 450 songs.

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