With the gift of time on his side, David Hawkins made more than the most of it. And now he is ready to show you what he came up with, with the premiere of his new single “Superterranean Homesick Blues.” This is one of the album highlights off of the new Be record, Here. Due for release on October 6th, this is the first new Be album in over seven years.
Hawkins, known for his work with Hawk, teamed up with a list of impressive collaborators in resurrecting Be. An expansive, orchestral art-rock project, Be stays true to the building blocks of classic rock with a progressive twist. Featuring collaborators like The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, drummer Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello fame, and Mott The Hoople keyboardist Morgan Fisher, Hawkins is backed by some heavy hitters.
Discussing the circumstances surrounding the recording of Here, Hawkins states:
“The first few weeks of the pandemic were intense. You were there; you know. I spent days scouring the news, trying to get a handle on the situation and trying to forget the images I had seen of mass graves being dug in New York. After a few days, I dove into my songwriting, as a kind of therapy, to lose myself in the music and to try to keep my mind off the news. I had been listening to Pet Sounds a lot, which has always been a kind of refuge for me during difficult times, and the yearning and vulnerability in those songs resonated so strongly that it literally moved me to tears one day.
“I remember wishing that I could make music that complex and emotionally powerful; to be able to move people the way those songs had moved me, and it inspired me to try. I had all the time I needed, so I started studying Brian’s musical vocabulary and rhythmic approaches and let them color the new batch of songs that had started welling up.”
He continues, adding:
“This was the first time I had ever written songs with other music in mind. I usually let the songs come up naturally without any intention or direction in mind and just follow them where they need to go. So I was relieved that when the songs took shape, they were very much my songs, but kind of clothed in Brian’s (Wilson) sonic embroidery. (And yes, I realize that even mentioning Pet Sounds sets it up to pale by comparison. No one else will ever make music like that, but I love it so much that it felt right to try to build an altar to it.)
“And recording it was such an engrossing and satisfying process that it really did help us get through that time. My dear friend, the drummer Randy Morris and I dove in deep from the start, and we both remember those days with wonder and awe at how the music and camaraderie kind of lifted us up and turned that dark time into something golden, like we were conjuring figures of light. The whole process was really uplifting and was a real testament to the power of music. I hope people listening might feel some of that feeling too and be warmed by the same light we were warmed by when we recorded it.”
Remarking on “Superterranean Homesick Blues,” Hawkins states:
“This song was one of the first songs I wrote for the album, and the final recording is, I think, one of the most fully realized. I’m grateful to have such excellent musicians playing with me; Morris, the great Morgan Fisher on piano, synths, and bass harmonica. The Brian Wilson Band’s musical director Paul Von Mertens with his stellar horn arrangements and woodwinds, and Max Crawford’s searing trumpet lines, it uses deep-space travel as a metaphor for the isolation of lockdown. It was a labour of love making it and I love the way it turned out.
“And despite the inherent humour in the song, when I sing ‘I will be fine / when the sun begins to shine,’ trust me when I say I meant it; the desperation you can hear in my voice, ever so slightly, is real.”
Here, Be’s third proper studio album is a headphone-style record. Hawkins began writing the album in the early portion of the global pandemic, which offered him both time and focus. He became absorbed with the process of song crafting, working and finetuning arrangements for days. This is how it became the dynamic record it is, with Hawkins adding layer upon layer while also incorporating the other instrumental parts. There is a spiritual aspect to the album, with themes focused on love and hope, and yearning and connection. At this time, there was a lot of collective yearning for deeper connection, which played itself into Hawkins’ songwriting.
These conditions have helped make Here into an optimistic set of tracks, like a ray of light or a dose of love. It’s uplifting and meant to inspire hope. These were such productive recording sessions for Hawkins that he’s got a companion album in the works titled There. It’s all about the here and now, as Hawkins encourages you to embrace the present and remain hopeful for the future.
Here Track Listing:
1. I Need You Like The Sun
2. Don’t Cry
3. Shine Your Love Light
4. Am I Not Dreaming
5. Mad About Zoe
6. Can Dreams Come True
7. When You Shine
8. All Alone With You
9. Superterranean Homesick Blues
10. No Way To Say Goodbye
11. Only Time Will Tell
12. Falling In Love With You
13. You’re My Everything
14. Don’t Keep Me Waiting
15. Waiting Reprise