Released 21st Nov 2011
For this double A-sided gem of a 7" single, Lancaster’s resident wayfarer of characterful psych-roots music, Dan Haywood congregated his 9 piece New Hawks country band in a local church: what followed was a righteous revisiting of two of the perkiest cuts from their much-lauded eponymous triple debut album (a record that’s "positively livid with ideas" according to The Wire).
As ever with Haywood, there's a whole bibliography of references lurking on the lyric sheet. The man himself pegs 'John’s Shoes' as a slab of "goose-shooting Outer-Hebridean OCD funk", its title bizarrely cribbing a phrase from a set of printed napkins depicting "'Sayings of the Pennsylvanian Dutch".
'Superquarry', meanwhile, does what somebody just had to do; marrying a slinky latin-tinged acoustic shuffle to the tale of a proposed quarry development on the Scottish island of Harris, finally abandoned on environmental grounds in 2004. More broadly for Haywood it evokes "a beautiful nation sullied by fear and greed", as well as nailing some closely held home truths.
The single finds both of these songs reborn in a celestial reverb chamber populated by bongos, fiddles, guitars, pedal steel, organs and who knows what else: a gorgeous primer for those yet to explore the fertile wilds of Dan Haywood's New Hawks.
"Lancaster man Dan Haywood’s urgent local folk is the perfect fit for Birmingham’s eccentric outpost Static Caravan, and ‘John’s Shoes’ is a great example of both. The jangling weirdness of Haywood’s song makes it a great contender for the ‘single’ treatment, and in two and a half minutes he gets more done than you might think was possible after Radiohead spoiled it for everyone with ‘Paranoid Android’. Of course, Haywood might be a little ‘too’ British and a little ‘too’ eccentric for some, but then some of you lot don’t like Marmite either do you? Mentalists."
Drowned In Sound review:
"Incongruity is one of my favourite things in music, which is why I count ‘Si Si Je Suis Un Rock Star’ among one of pop’s loftier achievements, and regularly put on 'The Frog Chorus' if I feel a bit rum. Mr Dan Haywood therefore knows what he is doing, especially given that he sounds like Mike Skinner would, had he spent his youth drowning in hoe-downed psychedelia and ignored the musical landscape as if his wrongly-topped pizza delivery depended upon it. ‘John’s Shoes’ begins with a screech, and as it goes on you are entirely entitled to get into a mild snit about how boring 'the charts' are, and rage about why we must insist on a divide, rule and conquer approach to the coverage of music - this is for you, younglings, but this, here is for the grown-ups' table. By all of which I mean, this is a judiciously recorded, barreling pop song about finding it hard to pick up your feet, that manages to harness histrionic southern-fried strings, and no small amount of slink – grinning like a Cheshire all the while."