NEW SINGLE ‘CALLS TO TIREE’ AVAILABLE NOW
THE FOLLOW-UP TO BBC 6MUSIC PLAYLISTED SINGLE ‘CATERPILLAR’
“Post-punk-informed pop with whooping vocals and driving bass”
Mojo, April 2021
“That is a great, great record but it’s a great sounding record as well, produced by Rod Jones from
Idlewild, good work mate.” Marc Riley, BBC 6Music
“Hamish is such a natural storyteller, both in life and in his music. His way with words is something that I
admire and envy in equal measure.” Charlie Cunningham
14.04.2021: Premiered today by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6Music, ‘Calls To Tiree’ is the brilliant new single and video from upcoming Edinburgh musician Hamish Hawk.
Bringing to mind the exuberance and playfulness of T-Rex and Sparks combined with the off-kilter pop sensibilities of contemporary acts such as Field Music and Ezra Furman, ‘Calls To Tiree’ is the follow-up single to ‘Caterpillar’, which was BListed at BBC 6Music and added to Radio X’s X-Posure playlist. A nervy shiver of monochrome Post Punk-slash-New Wave pop, ‘Caterpillar’ has also received spins BBC London (Gary Crowley), Amazing Radio and BBC Scotland (Roddy Hart/BBC Introducing Scotland, Vic Galloway). Both singles are taken from Hawk’s new album ‘Heavy Elevator’, due later this year, produced by Rod Jones (Idlewild) and recorded at Jones’ Post Electric Studio in Leith.
On ‘Calls To Tiree’ (a small Hebridean island), Hawk channels the energy and lyrical flair of Billy Mackenzie, crafting the only song in the known Universe to feature John Lennon, Edith Piaf and the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca. “Do you know what it’s like to
be a jester in the eyes of those you love?,” sings Hawk, who appropriately channels the Fool from King Lear in the ‘Calls To Tiree’ video. Influenced by Peter Brook’s iconic 1971 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play, the video was produced entirely
‘in-house’ by members of Hawk’s band – it was written and edited by guitarist Andrew Pearson and directed by drummer Stefan Maurice.
“When I listen to Calls to Tiree, I realise how important a song it was for me in terms of blazing new trails in my songwriting,” comments Hawk. “There are parts of it that sound fearless to me, and there are others that are more twisted with anxiety than
any other moment on the record. I can see myself at the time of writing so clearly in the song, and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect visual representation of its conflicts than the Fool in the video, dancing on a windy beach.”
“If you’re going to be the fool, you might as well be THE Fool,” explains Pearson. “Which is why it seemed a sensible idea for the Calls to Tiree video to be based on King Lear. There’s a strong feeling of dissatisfaction in masculine role models in Calls to Tiree and representing this by King Lear seemed funny to us. Hamish and I share a love of Peter Brook so it made sense to steal the visual language from Brook’s film adaptation. As if stealing from one iconic director wasn’t enough, we’ve sullied the good name of Fellini by recreating some classic shots from 8 1/2. Pretentious? Yes. Good, clean fun? Absolutely.”
“We wanted the video to look bleak,” adds Maurice. “We went out on the coldest of days in the first week of January, wind gusting, fingers barely able to operate the camera, Hamish scraping half-frozen clown makeup onto his face. And still we had to redo shot after shot to avoid dog walkers meandering into view. As we clocked up the takes, the cold got to us, and Hamish channelled our collective frustration, staring straight down the lens of the camera: do you know what it’s like?”
Rich of voice and even richer of imagination, Hamish Hawk creates musical pen-portraits as vivid in lyric as they are in melody, 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, Morrissey (the olden days version), Jarvis Cocker, Randy Newman, and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.
Discovered by Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) and mentored by Anderson and Jones, Hawk has been making music for several years, though ‘Heavy Elevator’ marks a huge leap forward for the graduate of St Andrews University. For the first time Hawk has written with Andrew Pearson (guitars) and Stefan Maurice (keys, drums), who form the core of his band, to create ten tracks packed with characters, incident, emotion, geographical/artistic references, and tunes to hang your coat on.
Hawk met Rod Jones at the Iona Village Hall Music Festival in 2016. Jones mentioned he’d be interested in recording some sessions at his studio in Edinburgh and, says Hamish; “One session became a couple of sessions, a phone call here and there became pretty regular contact, and an acquaintance became a producer, a producer became a mentor, a mentor became a manager.”
Their long collaboration has resulted in ‘Heavy Elevator’, destined to be one of the most intriguing rock albums of 2021.