Right, here’s the thing. Last year I was given a CD named A Strange Arrangement. At that point I had no idea who Mayer Hawthorne was, but I like the cut of this guy’s jib. His modern soul stylings are similar to Amy Winehouse – lending a modern twist to a more traditional sound with bigger, brighter beat. New music for a chilled out Sunday afternoon.
Mayer Hawthorne‘s lyrics are a little cheekier, a little lighter on the heartbreak than Amy’s and it’s for this that I kind of considered him a little less cool. Like some guilty pleasure I kept him all to myself, happily bopping along whilst no one was looking without mentioning it to anyone. Afraid I was turning into that old guy who likes young pop songs. Was I about to start wearing chino’s and shopping at Gap? Who is Mayer Hawthorne?
How is Amy Winehouse cool and credible musician and yet this guy feels a little bit like Harry Connick Jnr… Who is still pretty cool but, well, y’know… Not that cool. I tried to put him out of my mind but couldn’t resist having a little listen on a lazy Sunday or a cool spring evening whilst the sun was out.
Then a few weeks ago I received a press release inviting me to download his new single The Walk. I could choose between the clean version for radio or the other one. Confused that such a clean cut, happy go lucky, summer sounding, jazz man would add some naughty words I opted for that one almost immediately. I wasn’t disappointed. First listen gives you the normal happy, everything is wonderful feeling yet pay a little attention and there’s a touch of vindictiveness hidden within the lyrics. Check out the video below and you’ll see the playful nature Hawthorne serves up in much of tunes extended to this Mr & Mrs Smith style shakedown. A darker story that adds weight to the tune and implies a little more credibility to the singer.
So now I’ve caved. I wanted to find out more and was surprised to see his music mentioned on a range of blogs from humble music blogs like this to hardcore Hip Hop sites. Word on the street is, this Michigan based crooner used to scratch a living as a Hip Hop DJ before being convinced to cut his teeth on a real like RnB record. Lucky for his it worked out well!
There’s a new album out and it’s a broader, wider influenced record than A Strange Arrangement. Hints of Rat pack style jazz numbers mixed with flirtatious rock, bossa, and soul music. It’s very soulful …and it features Snoop Dog on on of the tracks. The new album is called How do you do? and it’s out in the all the right places.
Fans of New York Disco should head to his site and download the Do Over Disco Mix… Awesomeness awaits.