In 2005, Richard Hawley released a superb album of crooner tunes called Coles Corner. Hawley had been around for years, but he seemed to literally find his voice with that record of Scott Walker-esque 60's orchestral pop. It also referenced Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Phil Spector, etc.
Hear some of Richard's songs at his myspace page or watch the video above for Coles Corner. Isn't it just the most beautiful song? Almost like a Christmas tune, it's so tinkly and perfect for twilight. Something in it takes me back to childhood, riding in my parent's car, though I was born long after the 50's! I've often said that if I could be reborn as a teen in another era it would be either early 1980's London or post WWII Manhattan.
Richard is back on August 20 with a new album called Lady's Bridge - I guess still mining locales in his hometown of Sheffield. I expect this album to cool me down during the worst part of the summer swamp that is DC. Song titles are great as usual: The Sea Calls, Tonight The Streets Are Ours (first single, August 6), I'm Looking For Someone To Find Me, and The Sun Refused to Shine (a nod to Scott Walker?). Read this preview review at Uncut and froth. Pitchfork has also covered the new record.
Richard Hawley Tonight The Streets Are Ours streaming at myspace
For readers who hear the name Scott Walker invoked a lot and wonder who he is, the song you'd most likely know by him is The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore, which has been covered by everyone, including strong versions by Cher (watch) and Keane (hear).