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Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge

  by Sarah Maybank

published: 25 / 6 / 2012

Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge
Label: Parlophone
Format: CD


Epic and timeless seventh album made for the main stage of festivals from Sheffield-based singer-songwriter, Richard Hawley

'I wanted to get away from the orchestration of my previous records and make a live album with two guitars, bass, drums and rocket noises.' Richard Hawley? Stripped down? Hardly. Ditching the cinematic strings on his seventh album hardly means the 'Roy Orbison of the Don' (TM The Guardian) has converted to White Stripes-style minimalism. 'Epic' is in his blood, and here he corrals enough axe power to go toe-to-toe with cumulo nimbus-sized operators like the Verve, whose swirling guitar sound infuses this album. Ranging in mood from inky dark to blazing euphoria via interludes of blissful dreaminess, 'Standing at the Sky's Edge' is a collection of nine big, fat moodscapes that swirls with distorted guitars, dips into gentle lullaby-ish interludes and wells with the stormy, diffuse majesty of a Turner landscape. The album engages you on three fronts. At its moodiest it plunges into the disillusioned darkness of the post-hippie era. Title track 'Standing at the Sky's Edge' recalls The Doors' 'Riders On The Storm' both melodically and in its creeping sense of doom; 'Down In The Woods' pilfers The Stooges' venomous opening riff from '1969' and sounds like it's tumbling down a black hole of oblivion and dragging you with it. Meanwhile, 'Time Will Bring You Winter' and thundering opening track 'She Brings The Sunlight', with their sitar overlay and trancey guitars, spice the mix with elements of psychedelia and space rock. And the mood is leavened thanks to the dreamy, reverie-inducing 'Seek It' and the Snow Patrol-ish slow burn of 'Don't Stare At The Sun', which has the potential to storm up every playlist from Radio 2 to XFM. Released on the brink of summer, though, will Standing At The Edge of the Sky's smoke-dark palette stake its place amongst the tropical rhythms of Friends and Grouplove's shouty effervescence? Probably. The 'big' tracks were made for grand finales under the stars on festival main stages. And Hawley's ear-snagging tunesmithery and timeless croon give even the album's darkest clouds a gleaming, solid silver lining.

Track Listing:-
1 She Brings The Sunlight
2 Standing At The Sky's Edge
3 Time Will Bring You Winter
4 Down In The Woods
5 Seek It
6 Don't Stare At The Sun
7 The Wood Colliers Grave
8 Leave Your Body Behind You
9 Before

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Interview (2012)
Richard Hawley - Interview
Much acclaimed singer-songwriter Richard Hawley speaks to Denzil Watson about his recent ‘Standing at the Sky's Edge’, and the influence of his native Sheffield on his music


Standing At The Sky’s Edge (2019)
Richard Hawley - Standing At The Sky’s Edge
Nicky Crewe finds Richard Hawley and Chris Bush create a love song to Sheffield with a universal message that will make you reconsider what a stage musical can be.

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Now Then: The Very Best of Richard Hawley (2024)
Double CD collection from Richard Hawley spans over twenty years of the now legendary Sheffield musician and songwriter’s career, and proves a real treat for fans as well as a wonderful introduction for those only just discovering his music
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