Milk For Flowers by H. Hawkline album review by Greg Walker. The singer/songwriter's full-length is now out via PIAS/Heavenly Recordings


Milk For Flowers

H. Hawkline

“I buy my make-up on Suppression Street, / I paint my face for everyone I meet, / With the elegance of Nero / Made divine by feeling zero, I know,” Huw Evans of the Cardiff “strange pop” outfit H. Hawkline croons on his latest album, Milk For Flowers, released on Heavenly Recordings this Friday. A full six years after his last release, I Romanticize, he has been anything but idle. Besides the germination and watering of this group of 10 songs that play at 45 minutes, he has been touring with Devandra Banhart, Aldous Harding, playing for Kevin Morby, and doing his side project of creating art for other people’s records, including his former partner, Cate LeBon, who produced this album.

“Old women, young children, / Can teach you everything you need to know about living,” he sings towards the end of the album. In an interview with Northern Transmissions, he said that he admires children’s ability to express what they’re actually feeling, instead of masking it. While this album is the most direct, and the easiest flowing lyrics of his career, they are yet couched in metaphor rich poetry, fit for an artist who knows the importance of processing things, once, twice, three times removed.

“I love to hear the sound of broken glass as I run away / Your baker’s calling from the big sky, / An ugly wedding day.” The richness of the poetry is matched by the beautiful complexity of the arrangements. It is as adventurous and evocative as modern songwriting gets, and the heart as well as the art is felt deeply from first song to last. “You ask me how I want to be remembered when I’m gone / ‘Like a useful man, shaded by a shaky hand.’” He has an understanding of grief’s fingerprint on life, but like his admiration for children, he boldly expresses how he feels in this record. About family, friends, lovers. There is an honest neediness to much of the record, something that I think his longtime listeners and new initiates alike will appreciate.

“An ugly Angel came / Held my hand and we started to cry / But the car started running so I never did ask why?” The album toes the line between immediate feeling and metaphysical rumination, something that is perhaps the result of growing older and processing life through his art. “I want to die happy / An empty glass and knowing that I had sisters who loved me.” The balance between directness and abstraction, honesty and artifice, revelation and veiling, is the best attribute of the album. Besides the immaculate musical arrangements. I’m glad to be introduced to such a mastery of songwriting and record making.

Order Milk For Flowers by H. Hawkline HERE


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