Happy birthday to genius songwriter Neil Hannon who turns 41 today. Hannon is the frontman of The Divine Comedy, a group which is basically him and the musicians he needs at his convenience. He's a true popsmith, writing a kind of chamber pop, drawing upon such as The Beatles' more pastoral or classical moments, and singers like Scott Walker and Marc Almond for inspiration. He's got an extraordinary pop sensibility that helps cement his records. "Absent Friends" is the touching title track off his eighth Divine Comedy album, released in 2004, and it's also one of his best.
Watch and listen