Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Jeff's Best of 2023 - #10: Hamish Hawk - Angel Numbers

Sometimes an album comes out of nowhere and catches your ear, and then decides to stay there for a little while and uncover more and more as it sets up shop. Such is the case with Angel Numbers, Hamish Hawk's album that provides a glossy sheen and gorgeous melodies to accompany his distinctive baritone. It's a little bit Britpop, a little bit chamber/artsy, and owes as much to the Smiths and Scott Walker as it does in blazing its own path.

The high production values and polished presentation don't make it feel like a perfect and pristine work, but it *is* a high-quality achievement of music in an era where it's more difficult than ever to capture an audience. Songs like "Elvis Look-alike Shadows" and "Angel Numbers" sound both familiar and foreign, and more straightforward forays into pop territory in "Money" and "Think of Us Kissing" feel accessible without being stale. Hawk strikes a great balance on a musical tightrope act that not everyone can successfully navigate.

I kept going back to this over and over all year, and it's still one of my favorites.

Songs of note: "Elvis Look-alike Shadows," "Angel Numbers," "Money," "Think of Us Kissing," "Rest & Veneers"

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