Our first “The Year Of” 2018 artist to be announced, the now Berlin based, Irish group, Hawk.
With gender issues and abortions laws at the forefront of their music, the protest culture of Hawk is reason number one as to why Velvet has fallen in love with them. Fronted by Julie Hawk, alongside Matthew Harris (guitar), Chris Handsley (bass) and Sam Campbell (drums), the Irish four piece’s move to Berlin earlier on in 2017 has shown a steady progression into a much more solidly formed style of grunge and indie rock. For auditory comparison, Hawk’s take on grunge filled indie is reflective of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Band Of Skulls or The Jezabels.
However, don’t be lulled into the trap of comparative similarities; Hawk gracefully show their influences while seizing total control over their artistry, keeping their influences as just that while Julie’s raw-edge vocals provide enough power to bring real change to the world. The Seven Nation Army inspired video for their most recent single, Can’t Believe, is a prime example of Hawk’s love for indie, as punchy, grunge loaded guitar riffs from Matthew rivals the strength of Julie’s lyricism and soaring vocal display for a classically, gut punching piece of indie rock.
Hawk’s strongest and our favourite track from them to date, is the overwhelming Below, which secured a spot on Velvet’s end of year song list (just fyi). Think of punk filled protest anthems wrapped up in the gentle comfort of folk and you’re just about there. Battling Irish abortion laws, Below is an abrasive, thunderous display of pure punk rock reaching unapologetic measures, as Matthew’s guitar work anchors Below’s overwhelming chorus, as Campbell’s ferocious drumming provides the strength needed to boost Julie to her strongest performance yet, with an completely unchallengeable vocal display.
So if female-led indie, grunge filled rock is something that you need more of in your life, Hawk will cater to your needs in 2018, and most likely stand alongside you in a number of formal protests in the camaraderie for social change.