Richard Hawley – who he? Well, he’s played with Pulp, Robbie Williams and Finlay Quayle. He was one of The Longpigs. He has a voice to rival Jacques‘ Anthony Reynolds, Elliott Smith or Chris Isaak.
His music is an effortlessly crafted Lambchop meets The Everley Brothers – or Cowboy Junkies. He is fab; and with a short but so very sweet eponymously titled debut solo album, featuring just seven tracks, he immediately proves why he is more than worthy of Jarvis Cocker making a documentary about him. Somehow this man takes 1950s song construction and transports it forward in time by fifty years or so, leaving us amazed and reaching for the Play button again.
This man is one of these gem-makers that Setanta Records have, over the years, had such a knack of signing. One feels privileged to have heard his music, from new single Coming Home to the melancholic brush strokes of Happy Families. Caravan bears some resemblance to something fab by Hank Marvin, but the voice on offer here makes one wonder why he wasn’t signed up by someone long ago.
It is important that a wider audience hears this music, constructed of Isaak-esque slides, shimmering Hammond sound and lovely seventh chords just where they should be. Naked In Pitsmoor features Jarvis-esque baritone “la la las” and some funky analogue effects, just for good measure. Somehow, you just know he’s from Sheffield.
Time Has Made A Change is the other obvious single, every bit as catchy as Badly Drawn Boy‘s recent output. What else can we say? What else is there to say? Oh yes; buy it.