Richard Hawley - 'Further'

7/10

Since first emerging as a solo act with 2001's 'Late Night Final', Richard Hawley has been praised as Sheffield's own golden child of music. Regularly writing material about his hometown, the frontman symbolises the beautiful and quaint attitude many fellow songwriters have come to admire in recent years. With the announcement of a live musical based around his songs arriving in Sheffield later this year, Hawley has chosen the opportunity to release his eighth studio album 'Further', a record that sees him move away from the traditions of his past and look for inspiration beyond the city limits.

Throughout his career, his records have all been named after familiar Sheffield icons or landmarks, but 'Further' not only breaks this tradition but marks the start of new and exciting ideas that the frontman has been looking to showcase. Challenging himself to create a more forthright release, this new collection sees him throw together a diverse and eclectic range of directions that all play a part in describing his own musical personality. Opening up with the thunderous 'Off My Mind' before swinging into more subdued cuts such as 'Further' and 'My Little Treasures' aids in giving this release a more multifaceted approach than we usually get to hear from him, making this one of his more engaging works in recent years.

It is clear from the very start that Richard Hawley is far from out of ideas, given his near two decade tenure as a solo act. 'Further' not only demonstrates his talent and ability to recreate himself late into his career, but also gives us a truly memorable selection of new tracks that manage to pay homage to his past rather than reject it entirely.

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