Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Darcy Clay was like skyrocket which illuminated the New Zealand music scene 20 years ago and then exploded leaving barely a trace. His suicide was as sad as it was annoying, you felt that he had so much more in him . . . but he was a man who walked on an unsteady rope and perhaps his fall was inevitable.
What he left behind was a six-song EP which included the scouring Jesus I Was Evil and his unexpected but persuasive cover of Dolly Parton's Jolene (he made battered country music hip for the indie kids at the time).
His was a lo-fi life in a bedroom recording session and that EP gets a welcome reissue with six other tracks (five from the EP, plus English Rose by Elton John which he says “I wrote this one not so long ago”) recorded off the desk when he and his band opened for Blur.
There was a ragged glory and dark heart about Darcy Clay (born Daniel Bolton) which was bottled up in short songs, but those who knew him sometimes whispered he would not be long for this life.
But he did illuminate our world, albeit briefly.