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Music Review

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Woodland Echoes


Artist: Nick Heyward
Label: Gladsome Hawk
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 04 August 2017

Nick Heyward releases his first solo album in eighteen years, Woodland Echoes, via Gladsome Hawk. Prior to his solo career, Heyward came to prominence as the frontman of pop-funk new wave group Haircut 100, a foundational part of the '80s pop explosion. They released four UK Top 10 hit singles, with their debut album Pelican West reaching no. 2 in the UK album charts...

It's doubtful that you'll enjoy this album on the first play through (or at least appreciate its subtleties). This is a release that's best treated like a fine wine. Open it, let it breath, take in its aroma, taste it, then allow to slowly work its magic on your senses.

This feels very much like a little slice of the '80s updated and upgraded for the here and now. Heyward delivers some interesting tracks here and at times I was reminded of The Smiths / Morrissey ('Perfect Sunday Sun''; 'I Got a Lot') and Nik Kershaw ('Love is the Key by the Sea').

It felt very much that with the first half of the album Heyward attempts to cast his net wide and tries to be as diverse as possible. To my mind this makes the opening tracks feel a little weaker. It's the second half, where we're on a little more familiar ground, that this LP comes into its own. These are much stronger songs and almost make up for the slightly weaker tracks.

The album contains 12 tracks, with personal highlights including 'Love is the Key by the Sea'; 'I Can See Her'; 'New Beginning' and 'For Always'.

It's a pretty enjoyable release and I'm hoping that it won't be another 18 years before we get another album.


Nick Smithson

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