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Kyle McCormick

Kyle McCormick

HAWK - Clock Hands EP

Based in London, this mostly reserved quartet that is HAWK make music which supposedly falls between the bounds of “noir-rock” and “alt-folk”, so alternative noir folk-rock then, that mashed up description certainly conjures up some enticing imagery.

The band’s EP Clock Hands is five tracks and approximately twenty minutes in length, an adequate amount of time to enchant the listener and impart a lasting impression of the band. The title track begins proceedings with a careful guitar melody which is subsequently joined by vocalist Julie Hawk’s sweet tones and some marching percussion.

‘Fire In A Classroom’ is best described as “delicate”, with Hawk’s vocal once again joining gentle guitar to tell a whimsical tale. This quaint and charming nature is blown off as ‘Hush’ defies its name in cranking up the volume and attitude, veering the considered and prosaic song structures into something more energetic and rough. Closing track ‘Guardian’ finds beauty in the balances middle ground between noise and nice, encapsulating an indie-folk feel and bringing this interesting release to an end.

Clocks Hands is a strong introduction to HAWK, a band which combine both their musical and geographical differences to create an eclectic melting pot from which appealing compositions can be siphoned. A decent EP overall, HAWK could be a promising prospect in the not-so-distant future.

Clock Hands is available from iTunes.

Le Thug – Place Is EP

The first “formal” release from the secretive Glaswegian quartet, the EP Place Is provides a beautiful introduction to soaring tones of Le Thug. The mesmerising tones of vocalist Clio Alexandra Maclellan transcend the instrumental output lovingly crafted by the other three members.

Opener ‘Outer Hebridean’ starts proceedings off with a yearning wall of noise which spans the track’s duration, this overarching drone is undercut with subtle guitar touches and a phased and understated vocal performance from Maclellan. Second track ‘Pals’ presents itself more amicably, and a description along the lines of “shoegaze CHVRCHES” would not be wildly off the mark, as the gentle synths provide an atmospheric basis for the track.

‘Basketball Land’, which comes with an accompanying video, cranks the background noise back up along with the percussion presence. The five and a half minute number encapsulates the ethos and style of the EP as a whole: this music boasts no frills or pretension, it conveys just simple beauty. Featuring further dealings in minimalism, the throbbing synth and spacious vocal combination on ‘Paints’ would likely be at home on the soundtrack of some stylised crime thriller or overtly violent video game. 

‘Losing Song’ and ‘FC’ further showcase the band’s musical prowess and diversity, as the former returns to that synth-pop feel, whilst the EP closer jolts your heart into an indescribable sense of longing. Perhaps a statement of intent, or simply an experimental teaser, Place Is EP does nothing is signal Le Thug as a formidable talent and prospect in an already thriving music scene. If that praise lacks sufficiency, we’ll leave you with a comparison to 2014’s most loved band The War On Drugs, such is the calibre of the enthralling ambience. 

Place Is is available from iTunes.

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