Our Song of the Day is Heart Of Oak, the lead single from Richard Hawley’s forthcoming new album Hollow Meadows. The single is released on 18th September.
The song is a heartfelt tribute to all the people who’ve influenced and nurtured Hawley throughout his life. One of these, directly referenced in the lyric, “When you sang the Bay Of Biscay/The world drifted away,” is iconic folk singer Norma Waterson, whom Hawley befriended in 2010. Built around an instantaneous, driving riff, ‘Heart Of Oak’ is one of the album’s unbridled rock’n’roll moments, as well as one of the most life-affirming songs Hawley has ever recorded.
HOLLOW MEADOWS (released 11th September) sees Hawley return to the classic, sophisticated songwriting and subtle arrangements that made him so widely loved and revered in the first place. Meditating on such themes as ageing, fallibility and relationships, much of the album shares a brooding, yet wistful and romantic atmosphere in keeping with early albums Late Night Final and Lowedges, as well as touches of 2009’s Truelove’s Gutter and Standing At The Sky’s Edge. The album features some notable guests from the UK folk scene, Hawley’s neighbour and friend Martin Simpson, and Nancy Kerr. Other guests include one of Hawley’s oldest and dearest friends, Jarvis Cocker, and the Hick Street Chip Shop Singers, who are made up of various Sheffield luminaires, including Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor.
On October 25th Hawley will undertake a 13-date tour of the UK and Ireland. This will be his longest UK tour in three years and include his largest ever Sheffield show, when he plays his first hometown show in over two years, at Sheffield Arena on November 6th.
Sun 25th Oct – Brighton Dome
Mon 26th Oct – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tue 27th Oct – Birmingham Institute
Wed 28th Oct – Scarborough Spa – Grand Hall
Fri 30th Oct – Dublin Vicar Street
Sun 1st Nov – Leeds O2 Academy
Mon 2nd Nov – Manchester Albert Hall
Tue 3rd Nov – Gateshead Sage
Thu 5th Nov – Glasgow Barrowland
Fri 6th Nov – Sheffield Arena – Steel Hall
Sun 8th Nov – London Roundhouse
Mon 9th Nov – Bristol Colston Hall
Tue 10th Nov – Southampton Guildhall