Following the release of 2012’s Women and Work, Lucero’s new album All A Man Should Do contains some of the most resonant lyrics Ben Nichols has ever written. They read like chapters from his life: the duality of relationships, getting older, finding where you want to be in this world and more.
Working with producer Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, Flogging Molly) for a third time at Memphis’s Ardent Studios, the band felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them.
Richard Hawley’s last album, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, was something of a departure for the Sheffield singer. Rockier, and with a psychedelic edge, it suggested that the former Longpig may have been saying farewell to his world of beautifully crooned, 50s ballads.
Not so. Follow-up Hollow Meadows is something of a return to familiar ground for Hawley, although it doesn’t feel like a rehash: instead there is a sense of refinement at work here. The opening of I Still Want You sees an added roughness to his velvet-lined voice, whereas Tuesday PM moves with the stately grace of a Nick Cave ballad.
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