Richard Hawley is a late bloomer. He was born into a working class Sheffield family in 1967, his childhood blighted by a cleft palate. With musical parents, he was soon learning the guitar and forming a high school band. After graduation he worked around the local music scene as a jobbing musician and became a member of Longpigs, who had some success in the ‘90s. His first taste of real stardom had to wait until the new millennium when he joined Pulp, fronted by Jarvis Cocker. For years beforehand Hawley had been quietly writing a catalogue of songs. Jarvis and other band members convinced him to play a few for them, were impressed and advised him to record them under his own steam. He built up a following with a few releases early in the noughties and some of the critics started to push his oeuvre. He had success with a tune entitled ‘Nights are Cold’ before the 2005 release of ‘Coles Corner’, the album that really set him on his way. It raised his profile nationwide in the UK and certainly caught my interest. Many regarded it as Britain’s album of the year with it being nominated for many gongs. Since that time, with each new collection of songs, he has retained his following and quality of product. ‘Truelove’s Gutter’ was industry magazine Mojo’s best album for ‘09. The music has kept coming this decade, decorated with his melodic baritone and lush arrangements. Many of his songs reference the city of his birth and his latest release, ‘Further’, tops my list for 2019.
1. Further – Richard Hawley
2. Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen
3. Crushing – Julia Jacklin
4. Three Chords of Truth – Van Morrison
5. Tides of a Teardrop – Mandolin Orange
6. Ruins – First Aid Kit
7. Can’t Make You Love Me – Geena Rose Bruce
8. All Mirrors – Angel Olsen
9. Wild Seeds – Seeker Lover Keeper
10. Fever Breaks – Josh Ritter
HMs – Years to Burn – Calexico/Iron and Wine, My Finest Work Yet – Andrew Bird, The Saint of Lost Causes – Justin Townes Earle, Part of the Light – Ray LaMontagne, Texas – Steve Earle, Fever Dream – Of Monsters and Men, Not Dark Yet – Allison Moorer/Shelby Lynne, Aviary Takes – Dan Sultan.
EG Entertainment Guide, the Age – Our Favourite 10 Albums of 2019 – Craig Mathieson
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Lana Del Rey – Norman F—ing Rockwell
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Brittany Howard – Jaime
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
Julia Jacklin – Crushing
Sampa the Great – The Return
Tropical F— Storm – Braindrops
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Wilco – Ode to Joy
HMs – Amyl and the Sniffers – Amyl and the Sniffers; FKA Twigs – Magdalene; Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next; Hot Chip – A Bath Full of Ecstasy; Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka; The National – I Am Easy to Find; Rustin Man – Drift Code; Sleater-Kinney – The Centre Won’t Hold; Solange – When I Get Home; Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride.