|H. Hawkline — I Romanticize (June 2, 2017)|
H. Hawkline — I Romanticize (June 2, 2017) •ð• Welsh singer~songwriter with ties to Cate Le Bon crafts surrealist pop confections that fall somewhere between post~punk and psych~pop.
•ð• H. Hawkline (Huw Evans) makes his Heavenly Recordings debut with I Romanticize. I Romanticize was recorded at Samur Khouja s Seahorse Sound studio in Los Angeles with all the lyrics written and then vocals recorded in Narberth in west Wales. Co~produced by Samur, Huw and Cate Le Bon, who also forms part of the quartet who appear on the record along with Josiah Steinbrick LA composer and producer and Warpaint s Stella Mozgawa. In many ways I Romanticize exudes warmth and positive vibes and that falling~cat what, me worry? nonchalance and anyone who latched on to Hawkline’s last album, In The Pink Of Condition, will have their wait for a follow~up rewarded. Here, too, are wobbly psych guitars, punchy power pop and lyrics that observe the world through a fragmented lens. Additionally, synths and pianos are much more prominent than on any previous H. Hawkline release (he released his debut A Cup Of Salt in 2010 and followed that the following year with The Strange Uses Of Ox Gall). This is exciting, uncharted territory for H. Hawkline, who says: To my ears it s pretty accessible pop music, but maybe there s something wrong with my ears.
Birth name: Huw Gwynfryn Evans
Born: March 15, 1985 in Cardiff, Wales
Album release: June 2, 2017
Record Label: Heavenly Recordings
Genre: Progressive rock, Folk, Psychedelic
01. Means That Much 3:29
02. Engineers 4:27
03. Love Matters 3:43
04. Television 4:26
05. Last Days in the Factory 4:43
06. Salt Cleans 6:03
07. My Mine 4:12
08. Impossible People 3:43
09. Cold Cuts 4:06
10. Last Thing on Your Mind 6:14
→ Copyright: ℗+© 2017 Heavenly Recordings under exclusive licence to [PIAS]
•ð• Evans is also a graphic designer, and among others designed the artwork for his own releases and for Cate Le Bon’s album Me Oh My.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ***½
•ð• With a crack backing band consisting of longtime collaborator Cate Le Bon, Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa, and keyboardist Josiah Steinbrick helping out on his fourth album, I Romanticize, Welsh guitarist H. Hawkline has fully realized all the potential his previous albums promised. Here, he and his band smooth out some of the spiky guitar kinks of the excellent In the Pink of Condition, add some welcome synths and pianos, and fill the nooks and crannies of each song with sticky sonic hooks. Hawkline’s songs are similarly fuller and more expressive, with catchy melodies and choruses that are destined to be lodged deeply in the brains of anyone clued in enough to hear them.
•ð• There’s more snap to them this time out, a little bit of strutting swagger (“Engineers”), some Television~style weirdness (“Television”), and loads of pleasingly arty left~field indie pop. The stakes feel higher, too; songs like “Last Thing on Your Mind” and “Love Matters” feel more potent and important to Hawkline. It comes through in his vocals, which are stronger and more present than before. Another change from the past is that the interplay of the guitars is a little muted, but the addition of keyboards more than makes up for it. The bandmembers fit together like they’ve been playing for years and are able to read each other’s musical minds. There’s not a single stray note played nor any excess fat anywhere as the band bounces along almost merrily (“Salt Cleans”) or cruises on a slow boil (“Last Days in the Factory”). Even with the expanded arrangements, Hawkline runs a tight ship and every note counts, especially the slashing, economical guitar leads.
•ð• Hawkline’s work up until now was strong, but this album is strong~plus. He’s upped his already impressive game across the board, which makes I Romanticize his best album yet and some of the best guitar pop anyone is likely to hear in 2017.
•ð• A Cup of Salt (December 2010, Shape Records)
•ð• The Strange Uses of Ox Gall (September 2011, Shape Records)
•ð• In the Pink of Condition (February 2015, Heavenly Recordings)
•ð• I Romanticize (June 2017, Heavenly Recordings)
•ð• You Say You Love Me (split 7” with My Sad Captains, 2011, Trash Aesthetics)
•ð• Black Domino Box (August 2012, Trash Aesthetics)
•ð• Ghouls (June 2013, Turnstile)
•ð• Y Record Las (two songs, April 2013, Recordiau Lliwgar)
•ð• Salt Gall Box Ghouls (best~of, August 2014, Heavenly Recordings)
|H. Hawkline — I Romanticize (June 2, 2017)|