Monday, 11 October 2010

Case Study: Paul Hawkins & The(e) Awkward Silences


Second full length release from London's most entertaining live band  Paul Hawkins & The(e) Awkward Silences is an ambitious elaborate double CD. “Someone doing something truly on their own and making the rules up as they go along.” Artrocker. “Hawkins is breathing life into a tired genre and then spitting in its resurrected face.” Student Radio Association. “Rejoice in their individualism, their energy, their off-kilter rock n roll with intriguing lyrics and a captivating presence. Their set on the Introducing Stage at Latitude 2008 was one of the highlights of my weekend.” – Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1. 

Paul Hawkins & The(e) Awkward Silences- Every Word I Say to you will be a lie- video

 Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences' Apologies to the Enlightenment is a multi-dimensional hour and a half of 'life isn't fair.'

Over the last few years Paul Hawkins has been honing his outsider version of Pub/Art Rock and with this album the elements gel and he takes his place on the throne as King Of Fools. If you’re of a certain age some old art rock will come to mind along the way as you journey over the two discs. Ian Dury has been mentioned (agreed, if we’re talking Kilburn & The High Roads) and I’d add a bit of Deafschool and Doctors Of Madness. I notice from the promo sheet he has supported Wreckless Eric which makes absolute sense. But really it’s all part of a dark but accessible stream of Psyche from Rocky Eriksson to Earl Brutus. There’s a certain suburban weirdo literary bent to it, Ray Davies meeting David Lynch could be responsible for I’m In Love With A Hospital Receptionist for example.

The public don’t know it yet, but Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences are clamouring for the position of best British band of the 21st Century

Apologies to the Enlightenment marks a massive maturity in the Awkward Silences’ sound. Just listening to the opening track ‘The Beasts In The Upstairs Bedroom’ sets a haunting scene, with a dirge reminiscent of something you’d get on a Sunn O))) record (yes, really). And it moves on from there, with a rollercoaster of amazing and questionable tracks, all of which have an incredible musical maturity about them. It’ll probably be my one to buy in April, but spend the time between checking out the back catalogue.

This is a dense, epic, sprawling and extraordinarily ambitious body of work. Like this year's Liars album, art reacts to the irrational systems within which we exist. No more proficiently has anyone managed to step back from Western culture's current position and ask "What the fuck is going on?"

In the end, while all of Hawkin’s sad-sacks and heroic failures are hanging on by their fingernails, there’s still a twinkling of hope. The music varies from twangy guitars to cheesy drum machines, cacophony to fragile piano, and usually (but not always) provides a good support to Hawkins’ loping vocals.
A somewhat eccentric work, ‘Apologies to the Enlightenment’ should appeal to people with Tom Waits and The Fall in their record collection.

Paul Hawkins is an indie artist in a nutshell. That he "Apologies To The Enlightenment" recorded with a low budget you hear. The sound is not always perfect, but it usually does not bother us. Why? The songs of these British are quirky and catchy as hell. Although often melancholy in nature, this is the perfect music to your mouth from ear to ear and pulling your face into a big happy face.

To wrap this one up then, Apologies to the Enlightenment is either an album of potential that has brief moments to shine, or a musical statement of such genius that it has gone way over my head and I just don't get it. Either way, it' is definitely at odds with anything else I've heard recently.or ever, for that matter.

This is a really unique album and one that LOUD HORIZON would not hesitate in recommending to anyone whose musical taste has brought them to this site in the first place.
‘Apologies To The Enlightenment’ is a sprawling, angst-filled record yet - for the most part - the seventy-plus minutes of music here is riveting. Credit must go equally to Hawkins’ no holds barred, acerbic delivery and the unsettling but hook-filled arrangements which support him.

 This is a very angsty disc which spits fire, frustration and humour at the modern world and is therefore, all the more necessary to have around.

It's an experimentalist indie/avant-garde record that's full of fine details and small intricacies to be discovered

Apologies…’ serves up great blasts of state-of-the-nation anomie, worried and worked up so you don’t have to be, and speaks sense like a madman 

Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences - Apologies To The Enlightenment: 19th April
Sometime anti-folk scene leader elect brings love/hate voice, odd lyrical attachments and art-mess attack to, of all things, a double album.

Paul Hawkins & The(e) Awkward Silences

Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences are probably one of the best bands on the planet

Best in British Music Show with Tara O.

Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences The Day The Music Stopped Apologies To The Enlightenment (May).

Second off you can see an exclusive video interview and session performance of “Monkey Serum” for

Eagle-eyed fans of the band will recognise the interviewer and know his connection with the band...
The first track on ‘Apologies To The Enlightenment‘; ‘The Beast In The Upstairs Bedroom’ has been played by Gareth from the wonderful Bearded magazine on his podcast with Anthony from God Don’t Like It which you download for FREE from Itunes, we suggest you check it out...

The whole album has been chosen by Rocker Rosehip as ‘Featured Album Of The Month’ from Dandelion Radio and will be played every day for the whole of May...

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