May 29

The Man Who Broke His Own Heart – The Artwork Part 1

The front cover of The Man Who Broke His Own Heart CD is a painting by my very good friend Ian Hirons. He painted it in High School for a Communications project. It hung on the wall of his family home for many years and I used to admire it whenever I was round.

 

The painting has a beautiful pathos about it – a cute, tragic little fat cartoon man – his loneliness spotlighted, his eyes downcast, his big bright nose making him the saddest of sad clowns. And the rest of the painting is so dark. No wonder he’s lonely – he’s in a void. And we’re shining a light on him for our own amusement. It is an amazing painting. All the more amazing considering Ian was only 17 when he painted it.

 

One day I was visiting Ian and noticed the painting wasn’t on the wall anymore. I found it stacked with a bunch of stuff in his garage. Ian had just lost interest in it. He was creating other things and wanted to move on. The garage was exposed to the elements and would have certainly damaged the painting so I asked if I could hang it on my wall until he wanted it back. He agreed and it’s been hanging in my bedroom ever since.

 

My friend Chris Tomkins photographed it for The Man Who Broke His Own Heart CD cover. I have looked at this painting many many times over the years and still love it. It’s solitary figure suits the title of the album and its subject matter. They are indistinguishable now.

 

I would like to thank Ian for his permission to use his painting. I hope he never wants it back.

May 29

Some Nice Reviews of The Man Who Broke His Own Heart

“The Man Who Broke His Own Heart” is the debut solo album from James Hazelden. Here are some reviews:

“James Hazelden can swing from hilarity to heartbreak, often in the one song – no easy feat. His debut solo album – the wonderfully named The Man Who Broke His Own Heart – had me thinking of classic Australian folk pop, such as Rob Clarkson. And that’s a beautiful thing.”

Jeff Jenkins (Inpress, RRR)

 

Fabulous Long Player… Just arrived yesterday and it’s been on the turntable since. At last the 21st Century does something right: James Hazelden”

Tim Quinn (Mighty Quinn Management UK)

 

“CD arrived. Joe and I played it in the van on the way to Reading. During the 3rd song a bird flew into us and died. He flung himself on the windscreen. It was a very surreal moment. Now I can’t play the CD without thinking of that dead bird. Avian suicide aside it’s a lovely CD.”

Nicko (Nicko and Joe’s Bad Film Club)

 

Buy the album, The Man Who Broke His Own Heart HERE.

May 15

The Man Who Broke His Own Heart – Track by Track

THE MAN WHO BROKE HIS OWN HEART – A new album by James Hazelden


The Man Who Broke His Own Heart is the debut solo album from James Hazelden. It is a funny, sad, eloquent and melancholy collection of upbeat acoustic folk/pop and alt-country ballads.

Time travelers, coffee-addicts, murder committing semanticists, romantic ghosts, and a heartbroken squids are just some of the strange characters that populate this fun, and at times touching, collection of songs.

The music of the album is mostly acoustic guitar, bass and drums driven, but consistently strays from this arrangement and there are gospel choirs, string quartets, a cappella songs and ukulele solos. For all the cleverness and depth of its arrangements, The Man Who Broke His Own Heart is a simple, elegant collection of tunes.

It is available on iTunes, or from jameshazelden.com or cdbaby.com

 

TRACK BY TRACK

New York

The first single released from the album. It’s an upbeat, catchy pop song about time difference between countries, and how when you speak to your lover from the other side of the world, they may as well be in an entirely difference dimension.

 

Time Machine

A fun, toe-tapping little tune about what might happen when a hopeless romantic gets his hands on a time machine. This love song comes complete with hints of accordion and an awesome melodica solo.

 

Let’s Be Misunderstood

A soulful, sparse, piano-based ballad about people who are happiest when they are miserable, and how they get together in groups to celebrate their isolation. Guest vocalists Anita George and Marisa Brown create moving and unexpected gospel choir responses to the lead vocal.

 

Rose Marie (Rickety Tickety Too)

A smoky, murder ballad about betrayal and semantic misunderstanding. The smooth brushed drums, simple bass, acoustic guitar and menacing vocals soon give way to a cacophonous and drunken singalong.

 

The New Adventures of Ghost Girl

A fast, fun little tune about the upside of dating a ghost. It’s mandolin infused, quick country playing make it sound like it’s being played by The Muppet Band.

 

Looks Like I Have Let You Down Again

A sad, funny country song about a man who learns that love cannot make everything all right – particularly after a serious car accident. Garrett Costigan (Tex Don & Charlie, Stephen Cummings) covers the song in a gorgeous layer of slide guitar that tears at your soul.

 

Tab

A free-wheeling torch-song about drinking and how much more attractive you are when you buy the round. The heartfelt acoustic guitar on this track weaves in and out of the lead vocal like a lover.

 

You Make Me Feel

A happy, old-timey love duet played on ukulele and sung by James and Marisa Brown. This is the sweet, simple joy of being with someone else put into song.

 

Double Negatives

A classical string quartet gives this song a tea and crumpets feel as James sings about not being able to be happy with someone and only being able to not be unhappy with them.

 

Caffeinated

A jaunty, rollicking mess of a song, with it’s surreal, insane, stream of consciousness lyrics inspired by several coffees too many. Rob McComb (The Triffids) provides the strange and happy violin part.

 

Squid

The album closes with a mournful song of lost love sung by a squid. The vocals are sung a cappella with only the sound of the ocean providing a backing. This is the ultimate song of unobtainable love.

 

May 06

Freeloader – The Last Word

Here is a poem that a lovely young lady wrote for me on the back of one of my fliers, after seeing my show Freeloader, in Edinburgh. I think the last line was more to make it rhyme than as an accurate representation of the event.

James Hazelden
Sang in a cave
With his guitar
And was never paid
Came to the Fringe
Talked about man things
Killed koalas
Kept teeth
Punched a 7 year old
Offended God
And an alcoholic dog
With no shame
Trying to win his fame
He played his guitar
And became a star

May 06

Freeloader Receives Some Lovely Fan Reviews on Edfringe.com

 

11/8/08 Reviewer: Rebecca, Scotland, United Kingdom:
I had a great time watching and listening to this guy. It’s impossible not to feel relaxed around him and he comically hits the nail right on the head with every line. Great songs, a good laugh, lovely guy. Let’s hope we see a lot more of him, you won’t regret it.


8/8/08 Reviewer: Jem, Wales:

Top Class Comedy for Free!

I would have been quite happy paying top venue prices to see this very talented and hugely likable comedian/musician. He proves that, contrary to what some might think, there are many excellent acts on at the PBH Free Fringe so do go along if you can!


14/8/08 Reviewer: Jock The Scott:

The Show 2008 Fringe – Freeloader was/is Quality funny and worth seeing more times that one could find time to. What with other friends Shows & helping with P.R. for several. while writing or procrastinating the Writing of My Own “One World Show” & A Fringe Show for 2009, plus scripts for Screen & Stage Dramatic.

Freeloader looked in Place With The TOP SHOWS. and no two shows were the same if similar, as this
talented comedian interacted with adroit skills with his International Audience of All ages. All spoke well of the experience and recommended to friends / family!

After the First stumble in to Freelader, my Lass was constantly talking to people All over Edinburgh – in Streets, cafes, & on Stage when she got a MIC. (I’d to take it from her) she was getin laughs, more than me ? not jealous No lol. Ad Lib too! and mentioning her friend the hilarious comedian James Hazelden.* cool.

For me he’s “an insperation!” and so I am performing several times a week all over UK. writing Less But more quickly when I do. Then performing Fresh Material. plus I do more Song & Dance – serious comedy. (some Stand Up) James is a superb comedian & a very talented conposser of Music.

I say.

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