SONG PREMIERE: All-star Power Pop Group Hawk Share Rocking Ode to Desire on “She’s An Angel”

On May 15th, the band Hawk, led by the American artist David Hawkins, will release its highly-anticipated new album, Fly, featuring the all-star lineup of Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Elliot Smith) on drums, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) on bass, vocals, keyboards, synths and guitar, keyboardist Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople, Queen, Yoko Ono) and Hawk and Be guitarist Aaron Bakker. Hawkins, also leader of the orchestral folk-rock band Be, is an acclaimed abstract painter and co-founder of the avant-garde ‘happening’ group The Black Mountain Collective.

Fly is the follow-up to Hawk’s acclaimed albums Bomb Pop, I’m On Fire, Princess America (which featured a cameo in voice and word by Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and college-radio sensation Rock n Roll. Hawkins and Stringfellow have been recording together steadily since 2016 when they collaborated on the second Be album, You, and Stringfellow has now played on over a hundred of Hawkins’ songs. The legendary Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas joined Hawk in 2017 before the Bomb Pop sessions, along with Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, and the press-coined ‘power pop supergroup’ moniker stuck. Already surrounded by some of his musical heroes, Hawkins welcomed another hero, Morgan Fisher, to the group on keyboards last year. Fisher, of Mott the Hoople and Queen fame, recorded his parts in Tokyo in between tour dates with Mott the Hoople.

A true international effort, Fly was recorded all around the world, including at ‘Dave’s Room’, the late David Bianco’s studio in L.A., (Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, AC/DC, LL Cool J), Wonder Valley Sky, Hawkins’ secluded off-grid retreat deep in the California desert near Joshua Tree, Hawk Studios in Venice, CA, Ken Stringfellow’s studio in Tours, France, as well as at Fisher’s Morgan Salon in Tokyo and Mars Studio in Seattle. Louris was busy recording the new Jayhawks album at the time, so he doesn’t appear on Fly, but he has already recorded some vocals for Hawkins’ upcoming 3rd Be album, slated for an early 2021 release. Hawkins mixed Fly with his longtime collaborator Mike Hagler (Wilco, My Morning Jacket) at Kingsize Sound Labs in Chicago, and Hagler mastered the album.

Today Glide is excited to share “She’s An Angel,“ a rocking tune that draws on Bob Dylan’s ‘thin wild mercury sound’ in this ode to an elusive real-life Goddess. Brimming with feisty, screaming guitar licks from Stringfellow, Fisher’s driving piano and Pete Thomas’ pounding beat, the music adds an urgency to this emotional ode to Desire. This may be one of the biggest rock and roll moments of the album, with its fast tempo and blistering guitar solos, yet it’s also catchy as hell. It’s interesting the band employs elements of 60s paisley pop sound along straightforward garage rock to showcase their range of influences and styles.  

David Hawkins shares his thoughts on the process and inspiration behind “She’s An Angel”:

“This song speaks to Desire and to that elusive Transcendence that we all seek, as well as to the courage that it takes to seek it. The Angel here lives in the physical and archetypal realms; a duality that brings to mind Rumi’s love songs to God, which seem to speak both to a real person and to the Divine. A lot of my songs have a similar layering of meaning, and ‘She’s An Angel’ is a good example of that.

When we went to record it, I was trying to merge Bob Dylan’s “thin wild mercury sound,” (as he described the sound of his early electric band) with his mid 70s era sound with the Hammond B3 organ. But thanks to this incredible band, I think we actually surpassed what I was trying to accomplish with the arrangement. With Pete’s propulsive drumming, Morgan’s rock n’ roll piano, and Ken’s searing lead guitar, we were able to take things to another level entirely. I have to say, it’s so gratifying to have these guys playing with me; I can finally capture the songs the way I hear them in my head…and sometimes even better! (Laughs)”

LISTEN:

Fly is out May 15th. For more music and info visit hawkmusic.net.

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