Hawke is a fresh new face on the Irish music scene, since they popped up in Dublin around March 2019 the band have supported Irish rock giants Aslan live and recorded tracks in the legendary Abbey Road studios. I sat down for a (virtual) chat with Eoghan and Richie on skype. We talked all about their new release The Covid Diary, their big move to London, Coldplay, The Hobbit, and of course – the lock down.
So you guys have been on the go for just over a year now, can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Yeah, we started in March last year, we’d worked together previously before that. At the beginning we just entered a competition to support Aslan at their Ivy Gardens concert, that’s kinda what really encouraged us to start right away. When we got the call telling us that we won the competition it really pushed us to go all steam ahead at the very beginning. We did a little tour around the UK starting in November 2019 and in January we moved over to London. We’ve just been writing and recording since.
I love What About Love, the guitar reminds me a little of something that could be off of Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto album, it’s super summery. Can you chat a bit about influences and your song writing process?
It’s funny that you mention Mylo Xyloto because that’s actually an album that made a huge influence on us. With What About Love we wanted to create a song that was kind of taking on our older influences like Aslan, U2, and The Verve, and then we also wanted to mix it in with newer stuff like that album: kind of making a hybrid of it all. Mylo Xyloto feels like a time when Coldplay were really trying to connect with a more modern audience. Charlie Brown is a great song, that whole album is filled with little bangers, songs you may not pick up on when you’re focused on the hits, but when you go back to it; it’s chock full of them.
The songwriting process is different with every track really, we don’t really have a set way of doing it. Sometimes there may be a melody that pops into our heads that we then flesh out. Other times it starts with messing around with a little riff, that’s what can be amazing about songwriting, it allows you to play about with things without having a set method of doing it. Even with What about Love, we started that in Richies bedroom at home, he’s got a tiny bedroom in his flat. We were sitting on the edge of the bed writing the verses of the song for a while before we got to London. Once we moved we were living in an Air B&B and that’s where we finished the chorus. We kind of got like a Hey Jude vibe, which is another big influence. We wanted a chorus that was accessible to everyone, even the passive listeners in the crowd, something that catches on quite easy and is sing-a-long-able.
The Covid Diary came out last week! What can you tell us about the two new tracks?
Those tracks All the Lovers, and Feel Alive are kind of glimpses of the past in a way. Usually when an artist releases new music it’s their latest, best foot forward stuff, whereas with these songs it’s a bit more stripped back, because of the lockdown. As everything has been closed down for a while now all of our plans to get out and record new music were put on hold, so we were left with all of these older songs, stuff we were proud of, but maybe wouldn’t have released without the lock down. These songs are more representative of our older selves, and we think they will really give fans a sense of how our music developed to what it is now. We really wanted to release something during this time and we wanted to have a documentation of how we felt and what was going on right now. So we made The Covid Diary. It’s like, you know the way with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Lord of The Rings is the big stuff, The Hobbit is like a side story. But really good all the same. The Covid Diary is like The Hobbit.
I know it’s all a bit up in the air at the minute, so anything goes, but what’s your post-lockdown plans?
We have a Tour coming up in October and we love playing live, we’ve been doing a few Zoom gigs here and there throughout all this but we are desperate to get back into sweaty little venues and pubs and just do it all live and in person again. With the lock down stuff; It’s reassuring that everybody is in the same boat, we were working with our management company and drafted up a plan for the next 18 months or so, and obviously that’s all down the drain now, but it’s reassuring to know that were not the only ones in that situation. We can’t wait to get back to the studio too, our two producers are both from Italy, and they have both been in lock down there from really early on in this, as soon as lock down is over they will be back in London and we will be back to recording. We have written loads during this and we just want to get things back on the road.
You can also listen to What About Love and both songs off of The Covid Diary on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist, which you can check out here.
Review of The Covid Diary
Opening with a quick mention about the lock down, The Covid Diary almost feels like a preemptive time capsule. The band ask us not to expect the two featuring tracks to be played in future gigs, as they are products of their strange lock down time- and that just creates a sense of exclusivity. All the Lovers feels like springtime jam, with a catchy chorus. Feel Alive is more serious, it has hints of a hopeful sound that may be loved by fans of Elbow, but these guys spin it in a totally different way, and although it was written long before, it lyrically communicates exactly what most of us are feeling right now: that want and need to get back out into the world and ‘feel you’re alive’. Then there’s a message from fans: a montage of well wishes from Hawke’s fan base, and they’re saying hello from all across the world, it really gives you a sense of how big these guys are going to be, keep an eye on Hawke and listen to The Covid Diary for sure.
Album Art Photograph by Grace Phillips
Interview and Review by Sam Dineen