Prolific muso’s gritty ditty a winner
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.
Geraldton’s Darcy Hay has penned about 450 songs.