Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkard Silences

Apologies To The Enlightenment

Written by: PP on 10/07/2010 21:35:52

One of the more difficult albums I've had to deal with lately, "Apologies To The Englightenment" requires the listener to really pay attention in order to fully appreciate it. It's written by a dude called Paul Hawkins and his band Thee Awkard Silences, and it balances on a tightrope between bands like Cake, Beck, Pavement, Depeche Mode, Morrissey, and other infamously experimentalists but indie-oriented groups. It's also one of the most original releases I've heard in recent years despite the occasionally obvious references to the aforementioned bands.

Everything about the record oozes of curious weirdness, whether it's the half spoken-word, half-nasal, darkened male vocal delivery, the happy-go-lucky keyboard melody of "The Day The Music Stopped", or the chaotic love story of "I'm In Love With A Hospital Receptionist", which is the track that most closely recalls the fantastic moments of Pavement's mid 90s output. It's also a brilliant story surrounded by awkward instrumental universe and soothing vocal work, well worth checking out if you're into experimentalist indie rock at all. "Stop Making A Scene" is remotely catchy despite the monotonous verse vocals (which is an intentional characteristic of the album as a whole to make it more challenging) in a strangely inexplicable manner. Then you've also go the piano-driven "Seven Inches Tall" which brings to mind Morrissey, and of course the ultra-experimentalist seven minute "I've Had My Fun", which uses a repeating guitar melody and slow addition of more instruments to progress into a cacophonous grand finalé where everything crashes together around six minutes to the song before slowly dying out again.

I could go on to describe more of the album, but since it lasts an hour and fifteen minutes, this review would never end, and I have a feeling you've already gotten the point. It's an experimentalist indie/avant-garde record that's full of fine details and small intricacies to be discovered. But it's also a very challenging album that certainly won't appeal to everyone. You need to find Beck and Cake sufficiently quirky and simultaneously intriguing to be interested in this, and consider Pavement as pure genius to properly appreciate what's going on here. But even if you don't belong to that particular group, you should still check out "I'm In Love With A Hospital Receptionist", a fantastic track that deserves all the praise it can get.

Download: I'm In Love With A Hospital Receptionist, Stop Making A Scene
For the fans of: Beck, Cake, Pavement, Morrissey
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.04.2010
Jezus Factory

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