ARTIST: RICHARD HAWLEY
ALBUM: COLES CORNER
LABEL (YEAR): Mute (2005)
FOR FANS OF: PULP, NICK CAVE, ROY ORBISON
Words by Sam Hall
Repeatedly heralded as Sheffield's bullish answer to Sinatra, Richard Hawley has a knack for finding a lilting, effortless melody and transposing the most romantic prose over it. It simply melts your cold, unaffected heart. You can see his influence in fellow Steel city-man Alex Turner, amongst others. Yet what sets him apart from his contemporaries isn't just his reserved arrangements, swoonsome rhythms & dulcet tones, it's that his affections aren't restricted to his lovers, with each song finding its respective subject – a city, street, friend or addiction – and pining for it in equal measure. This is arguably his strongest record to date and indisputably the perfect starting point for those unacquainted with our lad from up north.
Take comfort on a grey and rainy day, this record makes you want to grow old with a city; a perfect distillation of Sheffield in all its humble beauty.