Lo-Fi Masterpiece: Hawker M. James – “Fast Friends”

hawker m james

Hawker M. James

“Fast Friends”

Long Playing Lo-Fidelity

What a great song.  There is such a refreshing honest to Hawker M. James’ music. He just has this gruff, simple voice, that pulls you into his great music.  With this new album, James (who played most of the instruments himself) comes full-circle, going back to the endearing naivete of his early 4-track material but coming at it with the polish and seasoning of decades’ worth of songwriting. On these infectious pop gems, textural, harmonic and rhythmic influences from the Stones, the Velvets, Bowie, Spiritualized, and Sparklehorse rub elbows with Alan Lomax, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Stereolab, Jeff Lynne, and too many producers to list here.  James plays with the 4-track like PJ Harvey does; using it as an instrument to fulling refine his songs while making them sound immediate.  I love the way he describes his music making as “Just me beb. I call on mercenaries when needed.”  This is definitely an artist worth listening to over and over again.

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