For a few weeks now, I have thought about and consistently failed to write a review of “Freaks,” the new single from The Hawk in Paris. I wanted to dash out something quick at the very least, as The Hawk in Paris is a band that more people should know about.
To put it simply, “Freaks” is a good single. It has an almost Cash-esque outlaw western vibe to it, and its theme of embracing life on the fringe is well executed, if not exactly previously unstated stuff. The voice of lead singer Dan Haseltine (better known for his work with the fantastic Jars of Clay) only gets better as he ages, and on “Freaks” it lends a wry secret wisdom to the proceedings.
The sound of “Freaks” might surprise fans of The Hawk in Paris’s inaugural EP, “His + Hers,” which was crafted with a distinct synth/electronica sensibility reminiscent of Jars of Clay’s “The Long Fall Back to Earth.” “Freaks’” two B-sides (“Birds on a Wire” and “Wake Me Up”) definitely live up to those expectations, leaving “Freaks” as definitely a single, not a stealth EP.
Still, it’s good music, worth checking out for fans of the genres on display or for Jars of Clay completists (I am both, generally speaking).
As much as I like “Freaks,” consider this also to be a belated endorsement of the even better “His + Hers.” It’s atmospheric, electronically-assisted pop that holds up well against The Postal Service or Imogen Heap and is much better than Owl City.
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