Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Album review: Woodland Echoes by former '80’s boyband star Nick Heyward returns with a gorgeous solo album

Despite an 11-year absence, the former Haircut 100 frontman's fine songwriting remains undimmed

Woodland Echoes by Nick Heyward
Woodland Echoes by Nick Heyward

Thirty-five years ago, Nick Heyward was the singer in Haircut 100 – the frontman of a slightly offbeat but well-liked British boy band. The group had three hit singles (Favourite Shirts, Love Plus One and Fantastic Day) and Heyward briefly rode the combined waves of critical acclaim, commercial success and teen adulation. He left the band shortly afterwards for a solo career but it failed to capture the public’s imagination.

Now Heyward is back with Woodland Echoes, his first album in 11 years, and it is a wonderful collection of songs to sit and enjoy on a lazy afternoon. His songwriting abilities remain undimmed. The opening quartet of songs – Love is the Key by the Sea, Mountaintop, The Stars, Beautiful Morning – are as crisp and catchy as anything in his back catalogue. It’s no surprise that one of the tracks is titled New Beginning, which is a dreamy, gorgeous Badly Drawn Boy-style instrumental. A fresh start indeed.


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