REVIEW: The HawtThorns Make Songwriting Look Easy on ‘Morning Sun’

Reviews

When you think about all the things that go into making a song, you realize that composing a song is a considerable undertaking. However, a good band can make it seem easy. On the new album Morning Sun (Forty Below Records), The HawtThorns combine melodies, harmonies, and lyrics in a way that seems effortless.

“Shaking” is a song that is reminiscent of Sheryl Crow both in the melody and in KP Hawthorn’s vocals. The chorus is pretty irresistible. “We were shaking when we should have been swaying. We were screaming when we should have been singing. We were thinking when we should have been feeling.” Even when you hear the song for the first time, you find yourself singing along.

There is a recurring theme of drifting on this album. You hear it first as the physical sort of drifting in “Rebel Road”. It tells the story of “the queen of desperadoes” who is leaving again. “When she gets there, she’ll know where she’s been going” is the ultimate phrase for someone who finds freedom on the road. While the lyrics do grab the attention, you can’t ignore the harmony vocals that bring The Dixie Chicks to mind.

On the other hand is the theme of being emotionally adrift. You can hear it in “Broken Wings” when KP Hawthorn sings, “We were making plans, but you had your own, and when you cut me out, it cut me to the bone.” The space between the notes in the guitar part by Johnny Hawthorn add to the loneliness of the song. “Come Back from the Stars” is another song about being emotionally adrift. AT the beginning of the song, KP Hawthorn sings, “How far did you have to go to find what you were looking for?” The lyrics hit even harder when she sings, “I hope there’s something left to come back from the stars.” In addition to the beautiful harmonies throughout the album, this one also includes a soulful organ part.

“Nobody Gives a Damn about Songs Anymore” is a good tune, if a bit misguided. People do give a damn about songs – especially when they are beautiful and heartfelt duets like this one. This is toned down compared to the other songs on the album and features just acoustic guitar and tambourine, which is part of what makes the song so beautiful.

This is an Americana album that is very well done. The HawtThorns draw you in with hopeful melodies, beautiful harmonies and profound lyrics that are easy to sing. Morning Sun will be available everywhere on August 9. Order your copy here.

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