Richard Hawley is preparing to grab 2019 by the scruff of the neck with the release of his eighth studio album Further.
On top of that, Hawley has revealed plans to debut a musical based on a collection of his songs that opens in his hometown of Sheffield. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the small matter of his pre-planned twentieth anniversary as a solo artist celebrations.
“I really wanted to challenge myself to try to keep things relatively up-tempo and keep the songs to about three minutes long,” Hawley says openly, “I was asking myself ‘Can you get your message across like a bullet? Can you still do that?’ It’s quite a tough question to ask.”
“We’re all bombarded by so much hateful stuff at the moment that I was determined to make something that is really loving. Some of the songs definitely reflect that and deal with what’s going on,” says Hawley. “The song Not Lonely is a good example. It deals with the stage that I hope our children get to, that stage where they can have a place of their own, being able to find their own space and luxuriate in it.”
Here is Hawley’s new lead single ‘Off My Mind’:
Hawley’s love for Sheffield is well known and this March will see the city’s affection for him reciprocated, with the opening of Standing At The Sky’s Edge, the musical that bears the name of Hawley’s sixth studio album. It will premiere at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre.
The production will feature a number of Hawley’s songs (including three unreleased pieces), continuing his journey beyond pure musical performance and into the world of stage and screen – something which he has begun with his increasing soundtrack work on films such as 2018’s Funny Cow (starring Maxine Peake) and Denmark (starring Rafe Spall and due out later this year).
Written by Chris Bush and directed by Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie, the musical itself chronicles the life of three families who live on the city’s Park Hill estate across three generations. The narrative moves through the post-War optimism during which the estate was built, its decline into a no-go area in the late ‘80s, and its more recent gentrification. It is a local story that covers global issues.
To round off the Hawley news, the Sheffield rocker has revealed plans to play two special tour dates at London’s Evolutionary Arts in Hackney.
- Off My Mind
- My Little Treasures
- Is There A Pill
- Galley Girl
- Not Lonely
- Time Is
- Midnight Train