Once every so often, an artist will come along and make one hell of a lasting impression with a record that they’ve unleashed to the world; sometimes doing such a good job that you’re happy to declare it one of the year’s finest long before it even comes to an end. Case in point: Hamish Hawk, and the spectacular Heavy Elevator.
Vivian Comma establishes early on that Hamish bolsters a rich, baritone voice which by itself is a major drawing element, and it blends impeccably with the quiet, atmospheric environment. Needs Improvements expands on the sound, namely giving us a more involved and melodic touch as well as Hamish’s vocals increasing in range, and the lyrics are simply wonderful and imaginative.
The latter are especially prominent and on full display to witness in Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, and it’s by this point where you are indisputably hooked by this album with no such desire to switch it off, then the personality continues to primely flow through in Bakerloo, Unbecoming, accompanied by a catchy beat and rushing guitars.
Your Ceremony is almost hypnotic in style, particularly with the additional gentle harmonies making their presence felt in the background, but in contrast, Caterpillar is viciously, addictively bouncy, with much owed to the freaking contagious bassline carrying the whole song along, and it only gets more mental as it proceeds, with Hamish going all out on the mic to some manic, off-the-wall proportions.
There’s no doubt that Daggers is considerably more reserved in nature and is another effectively written tune. Heavy Elevator itself is stripped down further still and manages to garner a few chills. Calls To Tiree is structurally simple but sticks with you with its memorable strumming chords, and last but certainly not least, we get the scopic and conclusive New Rhododendrons.
Heavy Elevator can be described in a variety of words: creative, smart, elegant, exciting, quiet, loud, and above all else, unforgettable. It’s not been until now where I’ve been truly appreciative of Hamish Hawk and his awesome talent.
Very few records in recent memory have blown me away to this degree, but he’s delivered that exact rare feat, and I hope a wider audience can experience that same remarkable sensation which I felt here.