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Tuesday 11 June 2019

Richard Hawley Reveals All About His New Album Of Short Sharp Songs & Forthcoming Show @ Brighton Dome

This year is a landmark year for songwriter Richard Hawley. Not only has he released his eighth studio album, Further, but a musical based on a collection of his songs opens in his hometown of Sheffield. 

Then, there's also the small matter of the man celebrating his twentieth anniversary as a solo artist. 

Further marks a departure for Hawley who has, to date, named all his albums after Sheffield icons or landmarks.

For his new album he wanted something that would capture the intention of moving forwards, but without jettisoning his past. 

Optimism lies at the heart of Further, an album that was made largely in Sheffield with Hawley and his band, aided by co-producers Colin Elliot and Shez Sheridan. 


"I really wanted to challenge myself to try to keep things relatively up-tempo and keep the songs to about three minutes long," says Hawley. 

"I was asking myself 'Can you get your message across like a bullet? Can you still do that?' It's quite a tough question to ask."

Hawley's challenge to himself means that the album is quite possibly his most forthright album to date, clocking in at under forty minutes. 


The opening track and first single, the Rickenbacker thrasher Off My Mind, sets the album's direct tone. 

Hawley describes his approach on the track as "playing like tomorrow may never happen." 

Other songs that display similar swagger include the Glam stomp of Alone, the outlaw tale that is Galley Girl and the album's centrepiece, the grungey Is There A Pill. 
 
Conversely, the depth and consideration applied elsewhere on the album's 11 tracks is typified by My Little Treasures – a tune that Hawley has taken twelve years to record. 

The song itself is based on the deep personal experience of encountering two of his father's oldest friends following the latter"s death in 2007, and the complexities of emotions associated with that time. 

It would not be a Richard Hawley album without some ballads displaying the man's gift for writing heartfelt songs.

Nowhere is this exemplified more than on the beautiful, yet simple Emilina, the yearning Midnight Train and album closer, Doors.
 
If the space in Hawley's music and his lyrical romanticism remain fully intact, Further is also an album that was conceived with the here and now in mind. 

"We're all bombarded by so much hateful stuff at the moment that I was determined to make something that is really loving. 

"Some of the songs definitely reflect that and deal with what's going on," says Hawley. 

"The song 'Not Lonely' is a good example. It deals with the stage that I hope our children get to, that stage where they can have a place of their own, being able to find their own space and luxuriate in it."

Richard Hawley's new album 'Further' is out now. Hawley plays live at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Friday 18th October 2019.  CLICK HERE for tickets.   

by: Mike Cobley




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