This Richard Hawley review was written by Jarvis Woodman, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
The return of Richard Hawley is always an exciting time. ‘Hollow Meadows’ reflects upon Hawley’s history of fantastic song writing capabilities. The follow up to 2012’s plunge into psychedelic greatness ‘Standing At The Sky’s Edge.’ It does feel great to be back to the graceful song writing that Hawley does so well.
Richard Hawley has been such a massive contributor to great British music. If not mainly through his solo work, also through bands such as The Longpigs, Pulp and also shining the light towards Alex Turner to write sophisticated songs, and also pick up a leather jacket and slick his hair into place – what a fine example Mr Hawley has set.
‘I Still Want You’ opens the album with an apology for being away for so long – “I needed a little more time.“ It would be truly disrespectful to accept this apology; this song is an absolute delight. The whole album, as expected, is full of amazing songs. It’s a fantastic opener, which invites you along to the journey through ‘Hollow Meadows.’
The melody continues through ‘The World Looks Down,’ and it’s a great way of keeping us hooked. The skilfulness of Hawley’s musical ability is ever so present as ‘Which Way’ kicks us up a gear, and it’s great to have a track with hints of ‘Down in the Woods.’
The album continues in the style of ‘I Still Want You,’ wit great light riffs, as if they roll of the fingers of Hawley. It’s the combination of great musical tones with the beautiful roughness of Hawley’s voice – an absolutely classic identifier of his music. ‘Long Time Down’ is great example of this; it’s this angelic melody, with delicate riffs and stunning backing vocals that almost make you feel mesmerised. All topped off as Hawley powers out the chorus “I’ve waited so long, honey where do we go now.” It’s sure to get your head moving to the beat.
The next few songs continue to illustrate the same emotion with ‘Sometimes I Feel’ standing out the most, with a very poetic, and overall lovely, sound. Second to last, ‘Heart of Oak’ electrifies us before the conclusion of the album. It very much feels like a thank you to whoever is listening right before it’s regretfully, time to leave. Kind of like we’re seeing Richard Hawley live – all the power and emotion is brought back for one last time. ‘Heart of Oak’ deserves its place in fantastic song writing history. It’s sure to stick with us all.
Overall, it’s another excellent album. ‘Hollow Meadows’ shines with pure passion and soul. It’s almost like we’re been taken on guided tour through Richard Hawley’s mind with not a stone being left unturned.
Memories and feelings all are reflected at every tone and beat, but most importantly through lyrics. All we can do is thank Mr Hawley repeatedly by listening and enjoying such a fantastic record.
‘Hollow Meadows’ is out now via Parlophone Records Limited.