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Now Then, Love... The wait is over for Ooglypoogly as Richard Hawley releases his ninth solo LP,  'In This City They Call You Love'

Now Then, Love...

The wait is over for Ooglypoogly as Richard Hawley releases his ninth solo LP, 'In This City They Call You Love'

by Ogglypoogly,
first published: May, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

Hawley has gently cracked open a geode, a place where the light refracts and bounces all about you on the crystals singing in harmony with him

Richard Hawley LPRICHARD HAWLEY
In  This City They Call You Love
(BMG)
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Richard Hawley's ninth solo album, 'In  This City They Call You Love,' is a seamless addition to his discography, the combination of his evocative storytelling and masterful composition. Hawley's music creates a reflective and nostalgic soundscape that transports listeners to a different time and place, all the while rooted firmly in the heart of the steel city.

I remember seeing the Artwork for this Album weeks ago and being beyond happy, it's always an odd thing to say - but our substation is gorgeous. A Brutalist wonder that when lit at night takes on a level of beauty it had no right to. I've seen it countless times but its appeal never wanes, many a "wiggly way” home has been taken solely to empty it into my eyes. To see it used the gateway to something else I never tire of (Richard Hawley albums) brought back that childhood feeling from Christmas, a bubbling excitement deep within yourself. Some golden tinsel seemingly filling your chest and threatening to burst out in a euphoric explosion of unadulterated glee.

Usually in adulthood - it returns in the run up to a gig, but this year it's been in the background frequently, reaching a peak when the review link arrived for ‘In This City They Call You Love’.   Richard Hawley remains one of the more quintessentially Sheffield acts to hail from the steel city.  That's not to say he spends his nights drinking pints of Hendersons Relish from a steel tankard after walkin t'whippet in a flat cap ( I'll let you decide which of them is wearing it). More that his music is so linked to the city that were he not a native - it wouldn't Iand the same.

This, the ninth solo album from Hawley fits perfectly alongside its predecessors. And whilst yes, he has over the years carved out his own particular musical niche on the Rock face, don't let that put you off. Far from being awkward or an uncomfortably experimental place of claustrophobic darkness he has gently cracked open a geode, a place where the light refracts and bounces all about you on the crystals singing in harmony with him.

Recorded here in Sheffield, down at Yellow Arch Studios ‘In This City Call They Call You Love’ opens strong, the lead single ‘Two For His Heels’ is a darker feeling track than I associate with Richard Hawley (reviewed back in February) a steady, almost industrial beat that feeds through into ‘Have Love’ a track elevated by that beat from what could have been a simple if undeniably catchy folk song - but it's the composition of the soundscape surrounding the words that make this - a track that could all too easily fade into the background instead hold your attention, a shining example should you need it of what I like to think of as the ‘Hawley magic’.  A shift into more familiar territory follows, that familiar sound sashaying into your ears to sweep you into a place that exists outside of time. Calling back to an era of music long since passed, but in a voice that could only exist in the modern world. Transporting the listener to that 'other’ place, like an aural David Lynch - but without the surreal malevolence.

An unlikely highlight and without doubt one of the strongest songs on the album 'People’ is a song that's going to haunt me, with its low vocal, guitar that's barely there and steady kick drum providing a percussive heart beat throughout. Falling somewhere between a Lovesong to, and a Eulogy for, a Sheffield I never knew, this song is a reflective piece . Flowing as gently or the rivers that now form the cities arterial network, remembering a time when that heartbeat was the drop hammers of Forges which gave Sheffield it's identity and purpose - lives spent and lost to that toil before the industry was pulled out like a tablecloth leaving a listlessness and suffers in its wake and yet in spite of that there remains a warmth between and toward people, they really do call you "love” round these parts.

'Deep Space’ thunders into rouse you from that melancholic reverie. With its tight tempo and magnitude of sound the song rumbles like a storm offering an urgency that simultaneously holds and diverts attention back into the music in time for a couple of blues drenched tracks  both the toe tapping ‘Deep Waters’ and the swooning 'I'll Never Get Over You’ give time to catch your breath before another highlight of the album.

‘Do I Really Need to Know’ is the song that travelled back in time to influence what was the most Hawley-esque track on the debut Last Shadow Puppets album. It's an intoxicating track that swells in your chest and leaves you waltzing in all your finery. Moving seamlessly into 'When The Lights Go Out’ you're reminded (as if you could have forgotten) that Hawley’s music is something really very special, from the rich vocal to the sheer breadth of the music and exemplary production. This is Baroque 'n' Roll at its absolute finest.

Closing out with ‘Tis Night’ a lullaby to sing to yourself in the light of a fading fire, as the credits of some  imagined biopic roll slowly and all gently fades to black. ' In This City They Call You Love’ is another triumphant symphony of an Album from Richard Hawley. Whether discovering him for the first time or a seasoned listener this is a very welcome addition to his growing discography that quells that thirst for nostalgia and transports the listener to that 'other place’ that exists alongside ours but without all the trappings of modern life.  This collection of songs will take on another dimension of sound with live performance and the upcoming tour will be the ideal place to experience that, Though I'll be waiting till late summer and catching him here in Sheffield.

 

RICHARD HAWLEY - UK TOUR DATES

JUNE 2024
02 - GLASGOW, Barrowland Ballroom
03 - EDINBURGH, Usher Hall
05 - LEICESTER, De Montfort Hall
06 - BRISTOL, Beacon
08 - LONDON, Eventim Apollo
09 - BRIGHTON, The Dome
11 - WOLVERHAMPTON, The Wulfrun At The Halls
12 - MANCHESTER, O2 Apollo
13 -  GATESHEAD, The Glasshouse
15 - LIVERPOOL, Olympia
16 - NORWICH, Nick Rayns LCR, UEA
18 - PORTSMOUTH, Guildhall
20 - SCARBOROUGH, The Spa

AUGUST 2024
15-18 - DEVON, BEAUTIFUL DAYS FESTIVAL
29 - SHEFFIELD, Don Valley Bowl (w/ The Coral, The Divine Comedy)


Essential Info
Main image by Dean Chalkley
Tickets for all shows are on sale now here:
https://richardhawley.co.uk/

Ogglypoogly

Ogglypoogly is a Sheffield based seamstress and mother of two. Uncultured and often uncouth, a lover of bubbles and foxes.


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