Edinburgh’s Hamish Hawk returns today with “Angel Numbers”, his first new material since 2021’s breakthrough LP “Heavy Elevator” saw significant plaudits at both press and radio, including – no mean feat for an artist self-releasing in the current climate – three singles playlisted at BBC 6 Music.
More recently his talent was recognised by the PRS and their PPL Momentum Fund, whose support for developing artists saw live activity across the Spring and him return to Post Electric Studio with long-time producer and collaborator, Rod Jones of Idlewild, to start recording new material towards the much-anticipated follow-up to “Heavy Elevator”.
The first taster from these sessions, “Angel Numbers”, contains all the whipsmart lyrical prowess and magnetic charm of previous Hawk material, but with a newfound anthemic ambition placed at its front and center, an expansive chorus near leaping from the speaker upon its arrival.
Hamish had the following to say about the themes behind the single:
“Angel Numbers is an ode to the life less traditional. It takes a look at the sacrifices we all make in order to feel we belong. It’s a song that asks questions of accepted wisdom; it looks for get-out clauses in mortgage contracts and pokes holes in wedding dresses. It lives in the twists and turns in the out of the ordinary. If there’s no blueprint for any of this stuff, how are we supposed to know we’re doing it right? Are we all just kids in suits?”
The single is paired to a playful, monochrome video by Hamish Hawk live guitarist and co-writer Andrew Pearson, who makes reference to the religious themes at play, with demons squaring up (and sizing up) to Hamish.
“There’ll be angel numbers, stitches in your wedding dress”
“Who’s game for a game of heaven and hell? Jesus and the jezebel?”
“With the video for Angel Numbers” says Andy, “I wanted to capture these two ideas: the biblical and the material. So we have angels and demons, heaven and hell, Jesus and the Jezebel represented by cheap nylon sheets and overly rough seamstresses. It’s a bit Phantom Thread meets Twin Peaks, Project Catwalk meets Ingmar Bergman but I hope it picks up the metaphorical and literal threads in the song as well as emphasising it’s strange, jerky rhythms.”
Rich of voice and even richer of imagination, Hawk creates musical pen-portraits, chamber pop songs that have swallowed both a dictionary and a compendium of modern urban (and island) fairy tales. And Hawk does all this with considerable wit, inspired by artists like Leonard Cohen, Jarvis Cocker, Randy Newman and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.
More new material will follow later in the year.