On eighth album Further, Richard Hawley continues to hone his craft, compressing his mix of jukebox-joint rock and poetic balladry into three and a half minutes or less. His unpretentious sentimentality is as strong as ever, despite tackling the weighty topics of ageing, loneliness, solitude (which he points out is not the same thing on ‘Not Lonely’), and time. At the album’s midpoint he yearns “Is there a pill I can take/So that I won’t ever feel this strange again?” in a nostalgic and emotive climax, but the album remains grounded throughout. Rather than tell a story, Further taps into moments of universal tenderness: a vortex of calm in which the listener is invited to share their own.
Photo by Chris Saunders.