There’s lots to be praised for playing in a band, but there must be nothing more satisfying for a musician than releasing something that you can completely call your own.
Cardiff-based musician Huw Evans has been playing in the bands of Sweet Baboo, Richard James, and Cate Le Bon for a while, and he’s even credited with assisting with some recorded Islet output, but only now that he is releasing a solo album under his H. Hawkline moniker may he be truly appreciated for his efforts.
I made a bit of a bluff describing H. Hawkline in the Swn Festival 2010 programme as “psychedelic and gypsy-inspired folk sounds - often largely instrumental and almost always spooky,” or at least I thought I’d made a huge bluff. Basing that description entirely on MySpace plays, I saw H. Hawkline live a few days after the programme would have already gone to print, where Huw was joined by two friends; playing catchy psychedelic pop, with vocals. Turns out my original description wasn’t a hundred miles off the mark after all (although, I’m told, his Swn performance was much like the one I’d witnessed).
Huw’s solo debut album A Cup Of Salt (put out through the wonderful Shape Records) is, largely, back to the spooky and weird instrumental (although not strictly without vocals) folk sounds of those early MySpace listens of mine. Beautifully constructed and well layered, it’s a wonderful krautrock-inspired mix of acoustic-led weird folk and driving psychedelic sounds, and it’s really exciting.
Which face of H. Hawkline Huw decides to show doesn't really matter, they're all bloody good.
Download H. Hawkline’s Gelly from A Track In A Box here, catch him live as he tours the UK with Gruff Rhys, and order A Cup Of Salt from Shape records here.
Edited to add:Stream the full album from H. Hawkline's bandcamp here, or listen to Gelly below.
H. Hawkline - Gelly