When Stones Throw Records got hold of a single entitled “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” in 2009, it’s said they sifted through dozens of ’60s Mo-town hits before realizing that this 33-year-old retro, multi-instrumental artist was transplanted from a different generation.
No, his songs aren’t washed-up covers from a man with an Afro, they’re his own thoughts and creativity. No, he isn’t emulating a big band genre known to years passed, that’s him playing the bass guitar, the record piano, and the steel drums. No, he doesn’t want to create music about the “good ol’ days,” he wants to make “new good days.”
Yes, that’s Mayer Hawthorne.
His swanky, up-town tunes are not easily comparable to anything on the mainstream, or to anything at all in fact, but if I had to paint a picture, it would be a combination of Kanye West’s callous lyrics, John Mayer’s captivating tone, and The Funk Brothers’ instrumental genius.
I love a good Miranda Lambert man-hating song as much as the next, but when Hawthorne turned the tables with his newest single “The Walk” I felt as if I just stepped into an official meeting at the “He-Man Woman-Haters Club.” As much as I felt awkward and wanted to turn the track off, I had to listen to all three minutes and thirty-eight seconds of it, why? You tell me.
In a world where pop music doesn’t go beyond the age of 14, these rock lyrics could have been written by a hormonal teenage girl, and rap music makes me want to buy a 12-gauge in order to protect myself (…in Dahlonega…) it’s refreshing to have an outlet jam-sesh with Mayer Hawthorne.
Welcome back sweet soul melody.