Cass lecturer Nick Haeffner retires from University to resume life as a cult recording artist over 30 years since his acclaimed debut album.
Date: 22 October 2019
Thirty two years after his critically acclaimed debut album The Great Indoors, musician Nick Haeffner has released A New Life Awaits You, an album of haunting and cinematic new music and an EP called My Ghost.
The release marks return to music after ‘vanishing’ into academia including many years at London Metropolitan University where he wrote books and lectured internationally about the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Nick’s first Album The Great Indoors in 1987 quickly drew favourable comparisons with Syd Barrett, Nick Drake and Kevin Ayers, culminating in a review by Robin Denselow for The Guardian, which read ‘the best 60s style psychedelic release this week is not Sgt Pepper’s on CD but the debut by the far more obscure Nick Haeffner’. Jon Savage in The Observer wrote that The Great Indoors was ‘reminiscent of the best of English psychedelia’. The album has since become a collectable cult classic.
His intervening years as a film scholar contribute to the cinematic flavour of A New Life Awaits You, whether referencing Blade Runner in the album’s title or quoting dialogue from Hitchcock’s Shadow of A Doubt but also in the romantic soundscapes of the album overall which add a filmic feel to the eerie melodic art-pop. The video for lead single My Ghost appropriately incorporates clips from Herk Hervey’s influential black and white cult classic Carnival of Souls.
There are further Cass connections to the album Finn Kidd, a Graphic Design alumnus and artist in residence on plays drums on one track while the cover portrait of Nick was taken by Matthew Cottsell a graduate of BA Photography at the school.
A varied career
Prior to his first solo album Nick Haeffner was guitarist with Clive Pig and the Hopeful Chinamen whose indie classic Happy Birthday Sweet 16 was banned by the BBC. His spell in art school band The Tea Set saw him supporting The Stranglers, U2, XTC, Iggy Pop and The Clash and even host Bananarama’s live debut . After The Tea Set broke up, Nick worked on projects with Psychic TV, Malcolm Mclaren, Richard Norris and conceptual artist Liam Gillick among others. Regular contributions to recordings on the psychedelic label Bam Caruso led to his solo album The Great Indoors.
Talking about his new album Nick said, “following up The Great Indoors was a daunting prospect but I’m really excited about the new material which came in a sudden burst of inspiration. I’m confident that it’s really strong material. It’s very loosely a concept album inspired by the possibility of uploading consciousness to a computer. It’s also inspired by the urban landscapes of Blade Runner, which is where the title A New Life Awaits You comes from. The song Steel Grey 2020 was inspired by Nic Roeg’s film The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), while My Ghost was originally inspired by The Innocents (1961). It’s also a very cinematic sounding album.”
A NEW LIFE AWAITS YOU (album) and My Ghost (EP) are available for download at nickhaeffner.bandcamp.com
The videos for My Ghost and other tracks can be watched on Youtube
Latest news from The CassView all
The role of festivals in urban life
Festival Cities, a new book by London Met’s Margaret Gold and Oxford Brooks’ John Gold charts the embedding of festivals in city planning and urban culture over time.
Staging and Re-cycling
A new book by John Keefe and Knut Ove Arntzen suggests a new form of dialogue between work, authors and readers, and draws out threads that extend both into the past and future.
Professor Lesley Lokko announced as recipient of 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Prize
The former London Met academic was nominated for the award by Dr Matthew Barac, in recognition of her "rigorous and innovative" approach to architectural education.
London Met's Architecture community shine on 40 under 40 list
Alumni from London Met's Architecture programmes have been honoured in the prestigious list from the Architects' Journal.
A new monument for Aldgate
Students from a range of artistic disciplines shared their ideas for a new monument for Aldgate, exploring important questions about what we commemorate, why, and who gets to decide.
I'm dreaming of a green Christmas
After a challenging year, we all deserve a break this Christmas, argues Siân Moxon, but let's make sure we give the planet one too.
Event: 2020 Envision
16 - 17 December 2020
BA Fine Art student collective organise winter group exhibition combining digital showcases and site-specific event.
Students plant 420 trees to promote sustainable building
The event gave future architects and designers the opportunity to reflect on their practices as part of the Department's commitment to developing sustainable building and construction.
Makers in the media
A hat trick of recent media stories reveal the impact of graduates of 3D design courses at London Metropolitan University.
"University has allowed me to thrive in a creative and supportive environment"
While he has achieved a huge amount throughout his studies, for Nigel-Albert Garcia, it is the friendships he's made at London Met that have made his university experience so joyful.
"What was particularly good about my course was the ability to work across disciplines"
With a background in finance and mathematics, studying Textile Design was a way for Loraine to balance a logical way of thinking with a creative, organic and experimental approach.
The living memory of cities
Nicholas Temple discusses London Met's new collaboration with industry to offer a series of events, launched with a lecture from eminent architectural scholar, Prof David Leatherbarrow.
The future of craft
Two Textile Design grads feature in the Craft Council’s ‘Future Edit,’ which introduces the next generation of makers, selected for their creative flair and thoughtful design.
"We need the arts now more than ever"
Rishi Trikha says we must decide what kind of a world we want to live in when the current crisis recedes - and we should fight to ensure art, and artists, are part of it.