Song of the Day: Richard Hawley – Serious (Live @ KEXP)

photo by Jim Beckmann

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is Serious by Richard Hawley as performed live from our studio on 12/10/07.

Richard Hawley – Serious (Live @ KEXP) (MP3)

Long before his nominations for the Mercury Prize or the Brit Awards’ Best Male Solo Artist, Richard Hawley played supporting roles for UK standouts Longpigs and Pulp. Describing his solo material, now four albums deep, the Sheffield artist states, I find it difficult to explain because it’s so simple. Instead of employing virtuoso plucking or modern technological trickery, Hawley aspires towards intimacy and spontaneity, putting most other crooners to shame without ego or pretension. Serious is one of the markers from his latest album, Lady’s Bridge (named after the oldest bridge in Sheffield), that illustrate a branching out. The slow balladry of 2005’s Coles Corner here turns to rockabilly bliss that’s no less affecting. It’s a track that highlights an obvious Roy Orbison influence and is certain to make that early-Elvis quiff dance upon Hawley’s forehead. If you haven’t done so already, read Spike’s review of Hawley’s performance at the Crocodile in December, give a listen to the full in-studio performance via our Streaming Archive (here), or get even closer to your dream of seeing the man live by watching this video of Valentine, performed on Later With Jools Holland:

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