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Mayer Hawthorne, the multi-instrumentalist, soul-professing 29-year-old, is coming to Wellington in February to play a very special show on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2011.
New music is in a constant state of flux between progressive music and those replicating sounds of the past. And while neither is necessarily preferable, purporting the latter requires a delicate balance of the former – a bed of historical influences coupled with a sound that is uniquely one’s own.
Enter Mayer Hawthorne. Citing Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry and Barry White as influences, Hawthorne combines ‘retro’ (an overused adage sure, but inherently appropriate in this instance) production techniques and qualities, with modern thematic obsessions and quirky instrumentation to make his debut release, A Strange Arrangement, a tirelessly impressive listen.
Hawthorne’s qualities were pinpointed immediately by label Stones Throw. An introduction by a mutual friend to label head Peanut Butter Wolf gave Hawthorne the opportunity to present tracks to him, who in return was blown away by the quality of the sound and promptly signed him: “I asked him if they were old songs that he did re-edits of – I couldn’t believe they were new songs and that he played all the instruments. I think Mayer is the only artist in the history of the label that I’ve signed after hearing only two songs - sometimes, you just know it’s the right thing to do.”
Unhindered musical talent coupled with a sound that feels both comfortable and exciting? This revivalist from Anna Arbor, Michigan will undoubtedly translate said qualities to a live setting beautifully come February:
MAYER HAWTHORNE AND THE COUNTY
Monday 14th February: VALENTINES DAY with special guests, at SFBH. Tickets available 9am Friday 10th of December from www.undertheradar.co.nz