Release Date: Apr 24, 2020
Record label: Polyvinyl
Debut album Wake UP! is an album born from English's own self-discovery. Commencing with "Born Like", statement lyric "Born like / you're born like / born like any other" delivers the reality check that we are all in fact human, whilst the title track acts as a public service announcement to draw yourself away from the fictious world of your smartphone. The questions of "who am I?", "am I heading in the right direction?" and "do I feel connected to others?" trail backwards and forwards as if thought was put to paper almost instantly.
Following a handful of viral songs in the mid-2010s and a pair of EPs that landed her on Polyvinyl's roster, Wake UP! is the full-length debut of Australian ex-pat Hazel English. A more vibrant, polished affair than her EPs, half of the album was recorded with producer Ben H. Allen (Deerhunter, Animal Collective), and the other half with Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Angel Olsen), the latter of whom had collaborated on a bonus track for her two-EP combo release.
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Hazel English may hail from Australia (she was born in Sydney but has been in based in California for the last seven years) but her debut album Wake UP! is miles away from the new generation of Aussie artists who have broken through in the last couple of years. Julia Jacklin and Stella Donnelly both introduced themselves last year with a pair of intensely personal and raw debuts, but English’s album is a more laid back, abstract affair. There are nods to Tame Impala, and especially Beach House – the same sort of dreamy haze is spread liberally over each track.
Clad in a red suit, hat and lip, her cover picture positions her as a modern dreamer: a new kind of hero. For her second full length album, 'Wake Up!', Hazel English pivots for a musical array of expanded soundscapes that articulate a dynamic evolution of her music. Her EP 'Five And Dime' was released earlier this year, which include four of the 10 tracks from the full album.