Music Reviews
In The Pink Of Condition

H Hawkline In The Pink Of Condition

(Heavenly) Buy it from Insound Rating - 7/10

Cardiff songwriter H Hawkline has been carving out a reputation for himself as a skillful writer of off-putting pop since the beginning of the decade, self-releasing all of these with an almost anti-careerist approach. Proof that a good stroke of luck can surely occur by chance, psych-obsessed label Heavenly has given him a new home with his first “official” full-length In the Pink of Condition. Those who’ve followed his early oeuvre will gleam with delight in knowing that much hasn’t changed, since it presents an even more batty, absurdist side of his schizo work with the main difference being that his profile has increased a tiny notch.

Produced by Welsh songwriter, and partner, Cate Le Bon, Hawkline does take himself more seriously (well, relatively speaking) in writing a more sustained batch of songs that don’t derail off on tangents regardless of how knobbly they can appear to be. The fuddled lo-fi production is coated with a musty patina of skewed, though engrossing arrangements that are the perfect fit for his surreal lyrical dalliances. He sing-speaks with a deadpan nonchalance reminiscent of a male Nico in the quizzical Moons in My Mirror, playing careening guitar textures with a modish backbeat as he alliterates the words “moronic morose” with ignoble deprecation. It’s not just poorly-channeled manic energy. Other times, he brings a self-effacing swagger that is just utterly infectious, like in the glam-rock tainted Ringfinger, which comically condenses a serious case of “commitment fear” with an urgent, “run run run” chorus.

Aside from a few tracks that feel tossed off, too self-aware in their own weirdness, Hawkline does manage to justify his odd behavior with heaps of whimsical charm. The curdling compositions in In the Pink of Condition do have a ramshackle quality about them, and much like Le Bon’s own work, can meander in unpredictable ways. It does, however, suffer from reckless self-indulgence, the kind of quirk that can irritate instead of leaving a pleasant first impression. There’s nothing wrong with being “in the pink”, it’s a good place to be, but a slight disruption from his remiss comportment may also suit him well.