Is Mayer Hawthorne the New Sound of Young America?


So Daria writes me an email from her home in Oakland, California and sends me a link that doesn’t work with a comment that she’d be interested in what I made of this guy called Mayer Hawthorne. Now, I don’t like saying so-and-so isn’t really my cuppa unless I’ve heard them. Okay, so maybe I don’t give ’em much longer than 3 or 4 seconds, perhaps a verse if I’m feeling generous, but at least my opinion will be informed.

So, I figured this Hawthorne cat is bound to have a myspace and he has. He sure doesn’t look like no pop star, which is a plus point in my book. I resolve to give him at least a verse before I press the top right-hand X on his site forever.

Oh, another plus point before I heard a note was that he’d put “Soul” where people normally put “indie/metal/r’nb/garage/hip hop/punk etc”. I just got some sort of sixth sense that this cat meant real soul, like it used to be in the good ol’ days. Still didn’t mean he knew how to make real soul music, but his intentions were good.

Well, listen for yourself. Maybe So Maybe No is his new single and the youtube film is below (nice film too). If you read his profile page on his record label, Stones Throw’s site (never heard of them but they’re run by some dude with the great name of Peanut Butter Wolf), you’ll know exactly as much about him as I do. Don’t you think he’s on to something good? A little bit of Philly, a little bit of Motown, not too much of modern garbage, nice horns, great snare sound and a pretty good voice. Apparently he does the lot; sings, plays, produces. His new album is out tomorrow and it’s called A Strange Arrangement.

I’m digging his sound very much, and if you’re in the States in the next three weeks he’s on tour. Maybe he’s coming to your town?


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