One of the biggest pleasures in music is the feeling of hearing an artist sprout new wings, soar over new territory, doing something completely unexpected. We love to chart trajectories and project the future onto the nearest wall. We love to dissect an artist, especially an up-and-coming one, to see what makes them tick. But despite all indications that they’re going to swerve right, they sometimes veer left. Some are left grasping for nothing; I’m excited to chase through unknown places.
This song surprised me in the same way recent Bullion and Deadbeat albums did: a well liked but nearly forgotten artist hit me out of nowhere with something incredibly new. Torn Hawk was, to me, the guy who made vaporwave epics like Born To Win (Life After Ghostbusters), yet here I am listening to a song that pulses with horns, spare guitar arpeggios, tribal percussion, weaving a tight narrative with a grand sense of adventure.
I’m warmly reminded of artsy bands like Talk Talk or Japan, or even the quiet ambition of The Durutti Column, but it’s a giant leap into fresh territory for Torn Hawk, aka Luke Wyatt. There really aren’t any contemporaries working with sounds like this.
Hear it for yourself:
This is the first single for upcoming album Union and Return, which will be Torn Hawk’s second release on the fantastic Mexican Summer label, run by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never. The album drops May 13 but you can pre-order it from the Mexican Summer store already. Deluxe vinyl version comes with his prior album, Let’s Cry And Do Push Ups At The Same Time, which is a pretty cool deal.