~ Further ~
Richard Hawley is one of the Godfathers of the Sheffield music scene and somewhat of an unsung hero in the UK.
Hawley has just released his eighth album titled ‘Further’ and still, he seems to fly under the radar despite Mercury Music Prize nominations and his last five releases all smashing into the top 20 of the UK album chart, with ‘Standing at the Sky’s Edge’ hitting number 3.
It’s always good to crack a brandy open whilst listening to Richard Hawley but ‘Further’ opens with the most rocking track on the album ‘Off My Mind’. The track sees Hawley tred into modernist territory, the kind of track you would expect and be happy if The Who were to release… It certainly sets ‘Further’ off in a riotous start.
‘Galley Girl’ is another one of the heavier tracks on the album, brimming with in your face attitude and comes at a time when you have just relaxed and slipped into the album.
It is the sombre tracks that light the album up though, Hawley crooning through the tracks ‘Further’, ‘Emilina Says’ and the beautiful ‘Not Lonely’ are the tracks that will be most welcomed by the hardcore Hawley fanbase. A real goosebumps moment is when Richard Hawley sings,
“Loneliness isn’t the same as being on your own.“
The more casual fan will be in favor of the tracks between the heavy and the sombre. These are the brilliant ‘My Little Treasures’, ‘Is There A Pill and the Johnny Cash-esque ‘Time Is’.
The reflective album is a great balanced record with something for everybody, Hawley doesn’t push too many boundaries but gives you what he is great at. It is easy to see why Richard Hawley is so much of an influence on the music scene particularly in Sheffield and even more so in Alex Turner, the frontman from Arctic Monkeys.
(Review by – Marc Whiffen)
Further is available now across all formats.