Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Record label: Heavenly
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
Welsh singer/songwriter H. Hawkline spent a few years working below the radar before the release of 2015's In the Pink of Condition on Heavenly, refining his neo-psych rambling and tricky Welsh songwriting into a sleek and punchy mix of hooky guitar pop, woozy acid folk, and jangling indie pop. Helped by the guiding hand of fellow traveler Cate Le Bon behind the mixing board, Hawkline delivers on the promise of earlier efforts and the album nearly equals the work of his producer.
Heavenly signing Huw Evans has a rarefied quality of inherent otherness that makes his music timeless. Produced by Cate Le Bon – who he also plays for – In the Pink of Condition is a carousel of wiry weirdo pop that references Paul McCartney’s Ram. It is warm and cosy like Linda’s lentil stew and woolly jumpers, or perhaps the sun-dappled LA streets this album was conceived on.
You’d be forgiven for missing it, but H Hawkline basically writes pop songs. Early album cut ‘Moons In My Mirror’ proves it conclusively. There are all the hallmarks of his work, of course – jerky, angular guitar shuffles, zany lyricism, and a train-track of a groove. But In the Pink of Condition pours enough light onto his songs to show that – whether he was playing around in traditional Welsh folk, dabbling in fuzzed out shoegaze, or whatever - Huw Gwynfryn Evans has mainly been in the business of classic songwriting and timeless hooks.
Cardiff songwriter H Hawkline has been carving out a reputation for himself as a skillful writer of off-putting pop since the beginning of the decade, self-releasing all of these with an almost anti-careerist approach. Proof that a good stroke of luck can surely occur by chance, psych-obsessed label Heavenly has given him a new home with his first “official” full-length In the Pink of Condition. Those who’ve followed his early oeuvre will gleam with delight in knowing that much hasn’t changed, since it presents an even more batty, absurdist side of his schizo work with the main difference being that his profile has increased a tiny notch.