Darren Hayman. Thankful Village

A challenging topic for a concept album, let alone a trilogy of them, Darren Hayman has certainly been original with his project of investigating British rural life in the Thankful Village series. Now onto his final segment, Volume 3, and having received strong reviews to date, Hayman continues to find inspiration in normality, pushing us further into experimentation.

Initially difficult to find a way into, Volume 3 eventually shines as, not only a great album, but also a true example of the power of perseverance in art. Layering his work with Eno styled interesting sounds and slight electronics, Hayman slowly takes us on a geography field trip of rural Britain via sound recordings made with local village dwellers. Honest and open the dwellers become painfully emotive as they speak about the realities of village life, its slow demise and the decay of rural communities. Starting off as background noises, volume 3 becomes a compelling recording of a history changing before our eyes. Odd, interesting and highly emotional, this is excellent.