Paper Hawk performed at a venue as intimate as their sound on Tuesday 2nd May 2018 at The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton following the release of their latest EP The Tide. Already beguiled by the way Paper Hawks soundscapes spilled through my speakers, I thought I had some idea what to expect from their live performance. It instantaneously became evident that it’s one thing to listen to Paper Hawk in the comfort of your own home, yet it’s quite another to witness the ethereally creeping, tauntingly compelling melodies created by the acoustic alt folk duo as they intricately weave their pensive webs of aural alchemy.
The Brighton, UK based Alt Folk duo approach their sound with a prodigious styling which allows their sound to exude a palpable transcendental catharsis through the guitar-driven melodies. It’s no wonder that the duo has seen a short ascension to the top with their zealously vibrant sounds which have already taken them across the country playing at Glastonbury, YNOT & Alternative Escape Festival.
It’s almost impossible to listen to Paper Hawk’s music and imagine the strength the of the currents of the harmony and how succinctly they carry you as you witness their progressively taut build ups live. Their tendency to create hauntingly momentous build ups was most tangible through their performance of probably my favourite track off the 4-track EP Written in the Lines; the dual vocals and lucidly gentle acoustics gain a dizzying amount of momentum which reverberates straight through you. When you mention folk music to many people you can instantly see the discernible drop in interest from their faces, before I checked out Paper Hawk and their support acts, I was one of these people.
No review of the evening would be complete without fair mention to the equally quintessentially talented support acts which included fellow Brighton Folk artists Josh McGovern & Jacko Hooper.
Josh McGovern came to deliver his Richard Hawley/Nick Cave-esque resonant vocals that are probably as deep as obsidian’s blackest hole, after checking out his short set I’m fairly convinced that no one does melancholy as well as him, his reverberating vocal approach has a way of grounding you in the pensively orchestrated, poignant pools of his progressive sound.
With a completely different approach to the folk acoustic sound Jacko Hooper took to the stage to almost draw a tear from my eye with his spectacularly soaring vocals that tear through you like a knife. If the sentimentality that he packs into his soundscapes doesn’t move you, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re dead inside.
You can check out Paper Hawk’s 2018 EP The Tide on SoundCloud
Amelia Vandergast is the Editor of grrrlwithguitars.com as well as a published author, poet, content writer, journalist and critic. For more information about her successful writing career find her at https://ameliavandergast.co.uk/