One of Britain’s best singer-songwriters has announced a new studio album, plus his longest UK tour in three years.
Richard Hawley’s eighth studio LP, Hollow Meadows, will be released on Parlophone Records on September 11. The track Which Way has already been released as a taster.
It’s the eagerly-awaited follow-up to his 2012 album Standing At The Sky’s Edge, which gave him his biggest hit so far, reaching No 3 in the UK charts.
Recorded at Sheffield’s Yellow Arch Studio this spring, it sees the return to the classic, sophisticated songwriting and subtle arrangements that made the Sheffield crooner so widely loved and revered in the first place.
Meditating on such themes as ageing, fallibility and relationships, much of the album shares a brooding, yet wistful and romantic atmosphere of early albums such as Late Night Final and Lowedges.
For the first time, Hawley demoed the songs in his shed studio (‘Disgracelands’) with his long-time guitarist and confidant Shez Sheridan (who also co-produced the album with Hawley and Colin Elliot).
This allowed him to enter the studio with fully realised songs, and many of those original demos were so strong, they form part of the finished album.
This includes the vocal to the sublime opening track, I Still Want You, which shows Hawley at his most vulnerable and romantic.
The album - like all his others, referring to an area of his beloved hometown - features some notable guests from the UK folk scene, including neighbour and friend Martin Simpson, and Nancy Kerr.
Other guests include one of Hawley’s oldest and dearest friends, his former Pulp bandmate Jarvis Cocker, and the Hick Street Chip Shop Singers, who are made up of various Sheffield luminaires, including Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor.
The album will be available on CD, digital download and gatefold double vinyl.
Hawley will undertake a 13-date tour of the UK and Ireland, including a date at The Sage Gateshead on Tuesday, November 3.
Tickets, priced £26.50, are on sale now from 443 4661.