Skidmore College Student Entertainment Committee Presents: Mayer Hawthorne w/ Special Guest: Cults
The "retro soul" tag is added to almost any contemporary work that sounds like it was originally recorded before 1980, and Mayer Hawthorne is aware of how trends come and go.
But, he says, he's not interested in taking it back to the "good old days," as much as he is in creating the "new good days." And to fans like producer Mark Ronson, who said, "I have no idea what this is, old or new, but it's fucking good!!!" upon first hearing Hawthorne's music, age ain't nothin' but a number.
On How Do You Do, his first major label effort for Universal Republic Records, Hawthorne proves that he is not part of a trend. The classic Motown sound that provided the blueprint for his self-produced independent debut, A Strange Arrangement, remains, but is joined on How Do You Do by music reminiscent of late 1960s California pop and the best work from the likes of Steely Dan and Chicago.
"Hawthorne emerges with a jaw-dropping collection of classic soul," RollingStone.com proclaimed upon hearing A Strange Arrangement, but with this latest release, the formula has been updated. The vocals are stronger, the music more varied and vibrant, but it's still Mayer Hawthorne. And the message is love.
Hawthorne grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, and vividly remembers, as a child, driving with his father and tuning the car radio in to the rich soul and jazz history the region provided. "Most of the best music ever made came out of Detroit," claims the singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who counts Smokey Robinson and famed songwriting trio Holland, Dozier, Holland among his influences, but also draws inspiration from Michael McDonald, Juan Atkins and J Dilla.
Hawthorne has produced and played instruments for much of his life, but never intended to become a singer. What he became, however, was a new school soul sensation, touring globally and earning accolades from Playboy, NPR and Entertainment Weekly. "He's an able singer...an arranger of astonishing precision," wrote the New York Times when Hawthorne first hit the scene
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