Album Review: Propter Hawk – Propter Hawk

Propter Hawk are a rock band based in Toronto, Canada. They’ve featured on this blog once before, in March, when I ran the rule over their single Telephone. It’s a track that features on their debut, self-titled album, released today.

By Graeme Smith

Propter Hawk are Malorie Blake on vocals, Andrew Blake on rhythm guitar, Alec McEachern on lead guitar, Brian Desso on bass and Jimmy Ruddock on drums. Their debut is a fully analogue affair, recorded on vintage instruments and half-inch tape at Toronto’s Pineship Sound by Carlin Nicholson and Mike O’Brien. The result is something that feels wonderfully warm and timeless, even when enjoyed digitally.

The album opens with Sherry Flip. An ambient, experimental intro gives way to a bass and drums groove before Malorie’s expressive vocals come in. There’s a swagger about it all with a fine balance of retro and modern elements. We reach a soaring chorus and the Propter Hawk brand of rock and roll hits its stride.

Clean Old-Fashioned Hate has an infectious melody and is a perfectly-pitched anti-love song. If You And I Could Be As Two is a bluesy number where the power of Malorie’s vocals are on full show. She truly is a talent. Summer Girl is a raw and sultry acoustic interlude before Telephone provides an early highlight with its cantering and anthemic country rock, and poetic lyrics.

Devotion takes things in a gentler, wistful direction before finishing strong. Sit and Reach has jangly, psychedelic guitar riff and driving percussion. It’ll having you moving along, no doubt about it. Kinmount Fair has a laidback vibe and is rich with nostalgic storytelling. Sleeper Creeper plods along nicely, punctuated by passionate vocals. It’s another highlight.

Back Again slows things down, providing some rare melancholy before building to a harmonious climax. Theatre Of The Whole World livens things up again with some intricate guitar work and grin-inducing lyrics. The album then closes with a brassy, reflective reprise of Kinmount Fair.

What an album Propter Hawk is! Considering it’s a debut, there are some instant classics on it – Telephone and Sit and Reach certainly. The talent on display by Propter Hawk demands notice and if you’re a fan of rock and roll or country then this album is a must listen. I’m predicting big things for Propter Hawk based on this debut. It’s one of the best album’s I’ve heard this year. You can check it out below.