ALBUM REVIEW: Richard Hawley – Further (BMG)
Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley makes a welcome return with his eighth studio album, and his first since 2015’s Hollow Meadows.
He’s not been resting on his laurels: he’s written the songs and score for the comedy drama Funny Cow, starring Maxine Peake, and been involved in a musical based on a collection of his songs.
Making records is what he does best, however, even if Further marks something of a departure for the former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist.
Aside from his self-titled debut solo effort, up to now he has named all his solo albums after Sheffield icons or landmarks.
So while its title is a departure from the norm, this album remains rooted in his love of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, and it’s another collection of beautiful, timeless music, performed with his usual depth and soul.
His usual band, featuring co-producers Colin Elliot and Shez Sheridan, are on board, and they’ve made another sumptuous feast of an album.
The opening track and first single, Off My Mind, is something of a throwback to 2012’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge, all squalling guitars, with Hawley’s baritone voice edging towards a Mark Lanegan-like growl.
Other songs with a similar swagger include the glam stomp of Alone, the outlaw tale that is Galley Girl and the album’s centrepiece, the grungy Is There A Pill.
Don’t forget the ballads
But there’s trademark balladeering too, not least in the lovely Emilina Says, and the closing track, the reverie-steeped Doors.
The oldest song on the album and one of its best is My Little Treasures – a tune Hawley has taken 12 years to complete.
If you like good music, you should already have discovered Richard Hawley. If you don’t know that already, this is a very good place to start, and then work your way backwards. 8/10
RICHARD HAWLEY will play a 12-date UK tour this October to promote Further:
2nd Bristol O2 Academy
3rd Cardiff University Great Hall
4th Norwich UEA
6th Oxford O2 Academy
7th Manchester Albert Hall
8th Liverpool Guild Of Students
10th Birmingham O2 Institute
11th Sheffield Octagon
14th Newcastle Northumbria Institute
15th Glasgow Barrowland
17th London Roundhouse
18th Brighton Dome
Tickets on sale now. Visit http://www.richardhawley.co.uk/ for more info.