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Hamish Hawk Releases Latest Single 'Nancy Dearest' From Upcoming Album

Hawk's upcoming album follows his 2021's breakthrough LP Heavy Elevator and 2023's critically-acclaimed Angel Numbers

By: Jun. 13, 2024
Hamish Hawk Releases Latest Single 'Nancy Dearest' From Upcoming Album  Image
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Scotland's Hamish Hawk returned in April to announce a new album, A Firmer Hand, due to arrive August 16 via Fierce Panda.

Fresh from a solo tour across Europe in support of Villagers, and following the playful first single "Big Cat Tattoos", today Hamish shares a further album highlight in the grandiose, anthemic "Nancy Dearest."

He had the following to say about the new single: "Many of the songs on ‘A Firmer Hand’ are marked by the presence of another: a lover, an authority figure, an enemy, or a confidante. Nancy Dearest is defined instead by an absence. On the one hand, it’s a bitterly defiant song, an ego trip, a narcissistic flight of fancy. On the other, it’s a song about sheer loneliness, isolation, and ultimate loss. Either way, it’s a cry for help.

We all tell ourselves stories about who we are and who we are not. On occasion something will cause our visions of ourselves to short-circuit. In ‘Nancy Dearest’, our hero is spiralling. ‘I’ve seen the well of emptiness and I have had my fill’... Tell me about it, stud.”

A Firmer Hand follows Hawk’s 2021's breakthrough LP Heavy Elevator and 2023's critically-acclaimed Angel Numbers, both sublime and literate records that saw significant plaudits at both press and radio, including - no mean feat for an artist previously self-releasing in the current climate - six singles playlisted at BBC 6 Music. "Big Cat Tattoos," added to the playlist last week, now makes that seven!

Of his new album, Hamish says: “Writing this album, I opened up my closet, and a skeleton came out. The thing that links all of the songs is a sense of the unsaid, whether out of guilt, shame, repression, embarrassment, coyness, whatever it might have been. I realised: I am going to say these things, and not all of them are going to make me look good. The album made so many demands, and I just gave myself over to it.

Once I'd given myself over to the idea, I thought, I have to stick to this. I can’t hide anything from it. I can’t clean it all up for consumption. It felt uncomfortable for me – and that’s exactly how it should feel. That’s a really strong position.”

Through the writing of "Machiavelli’s Room," followed by the arrival of songs such as "Milk an Ending" and "Juliet as Epithet," A Firmer Hand came into focus as an album directed towards Hawk’s relationships with men: friends, lovers, family, colleagues.

“I thought, this is the body of the record. The fact that it makes me nervous tells me it was the right thing to do.”

It takes only a couple of listens to be sure that it was a risk worth taking. And just a couple more to determine that A Firmer Hand is the best and boldest record Hamish Hawk has delivered to date. “It’s a bit of a coming of age record,” he says. And a record for the ages.

Rich of voice and even richer of imagination, Hawk creates musical pen-portraits, chamber pop songs that have swallowed both a dictionary and a compendium of modern urban (and island) fairy tales. And Hawk does all this with considerable wit, inspired by artists like Leonard Cohen, Jarvis Cocker, Randy Newman and Stephin Merritt.

Hamish Hawk will be playing a number of dates across the year in support of the new record including a recently announced support for Elbow in the summer. He was recently announced as direct support for Travis’ December UK tour. Hamish will also be playing an extensive set of instore and outstore performances in the run-up to release. All dates below.

Tour dates:

06/27 - Inverness, UK @ Belladrum Festival

07/21 - Reading, UK @ Englefield Estate (w/ Elbow & Villagers)

08/03 - Newport-on-Tay, UK @ Lughnasadh Festiva

08/04 - Barnsley, UK @ Underneath The Stars Festival

08/13 - Kingston on Thames, UK @ PRYZM

08/14 - Leeds, UK @ The Wardrobe

08/15 - Manchester, UK @ Night & Day

08/16 - Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade

08/17 - London, UK @ Rough Trade East

08/18 - Nottingham, UK @ Rough Trade

08/19 - Liverpool, UK @ Rough Trade

08/20 - Oxford, UK @ The Jericho Tavern

08/21 - Portsmouth, UK @ The Brewery

08/22 - Brighton, UK @ Resident

08/23 - Kettering, UK @ Green Belt Festival

08/24 - Birkenhead, UK @ Future Now Weekender

08/30 - Aberdeen, UK @ Assai at Tunnels

08/31 - Edinburgh, UK @ Assai at Liquid Rooms

09/01 - Glasgow, UK @ Assai at St. Lukes

10/19 - Cardiff, UK @ Swn Festival

12/05 - Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy ^

12/06 - Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall ^

12/08 - Liverpool, UK @ Olympia ^

12/09 - Wolverhampton, UK @ The Halls ^

12/10 - Nottingham, UK @ Rock City ^

12/11 - Margate, UK @ Dreamland ^

12/13 - London, UK @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire ^

12/15 - Bristol, UK @ Beacon ^

12/17 - Eastbourne, UK @ Winter Gardens ^

12/18 - Sheffield, UK @ Octagon ^

12/19 - Newcastle, UK @ O2 City Hall ^

12/21 - Glasgow, UK @ Ovo Hydro ^

^ Travis

A Firmer Hand Tracklisting:

01. Juliet as Epithet

02. Machiavelli's Room

03. Big Cat Tattoos

04. Nancy Dearest

05. Autobiography of Spy

06. You Can Film Me

07. Christopher St.

08. Men Like Wire

09. Questionable Hit

10. Disingenuous

11. Milk an Ending

12. The Hard Won

Photo Credit: Simon Murphy



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