Album: The Hale and The Hearty
Artist: Heyward Howkins
Genre: Indie and so so good.
Label: Heyward Howkins
Released: 26 June 2012
My Review: So here is something really interesting: about two weeks ago I was listening to James Vincent McMorrow’s Early in the Morning and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago alternately and kept thinking to myself, “why are more albums not like these beautiful gems?” and then here comes Heyward Howkins and it was practically insta-music-love.
The Hale and The Hearty is one of those albums that comes along every once in a while and I think “this had better get the attention that it deserves” because this album deserves attention.
I love the pictures that are painted on The Hale and The Hearty. I love the sound of Howkins’ voice, and I especially love the juxtaposition between the drums, strings, and horns. They aren’t fighting each other for dominance, they're synergizing with each other in the most perfect way.
I feel like this album is effectively telling you about this beautiful, hazy, dreamy life. Kind of like how Bon Iver did on For Emma. Of course, these two aren’t the exact same, but the parallels are there. I will admit I prefer Howkins’ voice (which sounds a little bit like Nick Drake) over Bon Iver’s. And I think that Howkins’ eclectic musical background is another massive contributor to the sound on this album. Without listening to a lot of different kinds of music there is no way The Hale and The Hearty could have come together so beautifully.
For instance: the piano coming out at the beginning of ‘The Raucous Call of Morning’ melted my heart, and then hearing the build throughout the song with the addition of the horns, and a lighter voice backing Howkins, quickly made this track my favorite from the album.
I feel like music comes to a person at a specific time for a reason. And this album is going to be carrying me all the way through the Fall and Winter season, because some of the tracks feel like the Indian Summer that has been sweeping the country, and some of the tracks I know I will be listening to when the snow begins to fall in a couple of weeks.
If you’re listening to Bon Iver, then you’ll love Heyward Howkins. If you’re looking for something quiet and Nick Drake-ish, you’ll love Heyward Howkins. If you’re looking for incredibly awesome music that makes you feel something, then you’ll love Heyward Howkins.
What can I say? I love this album, I can’t wait to see what comes next from Heyward Howkins.
My favorite tracks are:
Hale and The Hearty
The Live Oak
Sugar Sand Stitched Up