In the second of a series of songs to be released over 2-month intervals, Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Cale Hawkins treats us to a delight of downcast disco.
Despite being around as a session and backing musician since 2012, it was only early last year that Hawkins expressed his solo intentions with a few light, minimalist folk singles. This new string of tracks, however, sees Hawkins significantly expanding his palate of sounds, introducing synths and deep bass lines with an obvious influence of 80’s disco, with Hawkins’ nuanced, idiosyncratic vocal delivery the only thing surviving from the earlier phase.
Written and recorded solely by Hawkins in a small, windowless apartment in Brooklyn, “Escaping”, with its lyrics concerning solitary reflection, reminiscence and separation, could easily end up sounding claustrophobic, but Hawkins’ fine attention to detail in the layering of sounds and astonishing ear for melody instead makes listening to the track a thoroughly immersive experience. Aesthetically stylish with many twists and turns, including a fantastic mid-way side-step into psychedelia, this is a rewarding, complex track, bursting with creativity and performed with a great deal of elegance and panache.
“Escaping” is a brilliant track that really deserves to be heard. It remains to be seen whether there’s an album in the works, so for now we’ll have to make do with another 2-month wait for the next track, but on the back of the strength of these last two singles, it’s sure to be worth it.
Review by Jamie George