Monday, 19 November 2018

Album Review: O.W.W.W.P by Chloe Hawes (by Emma Prew)


Chloe Hawes is a Manchester based singer-songwriter, originally from Essex. She recently released her third EP titled O.W.W.W.P on Under The Bridge Records which was produced by Steve Millar, aka Arms & Hearts. Playing a blend of Americana, country and folk with rock elements, this EP will appeal to those punk rock fans among us that enjoy a quieter tune every now and then – I know I’m not the only one.


First up on this four track EP is the aptly titled Shakespearean Tragic. I say aptly as both lyrically and musically Chloe tells melancholic tale throughout the song. After a slow, sombre yet melodic intro, the pace picks up a little and showcases that this track, and indeed this EP, isn’t simply an acoustic affair. In fact the electric guitar parts that thread throughout the track are probably my favourite bit, complimenting Chloe’s lovely vocal. You can hear the rockier influences in the opening of Anything Once. It feels pretty angsty in a subtle sort of way as the melodies remain somewhat gentle but there’s a hint of bitterness in Chloe’s words. There’s a sweet little guitar solo towards the end of the song and then, after the vocals come back in, a brass section that I completely wasn’t expecting. It gave the song a big boost in sound.

O.W.W.W.P, is the third song of the EP and I instantly see why this is the title track. Telling an honest and relatable tale of tackling your problems with alcohol, drugs and general partying, this is a hard-hitting song that really stands out. The song has a slow pace and quieter instruments allow Chloe’s voice and lyrics to be the main focus of the song. ‘Sort it out love, Don’t you know you’re not the only one, Whose had it a little bit tougher than most.’ Although I stand by my statement that O.W.W.W.P is the stand out track on the EP, my favourite song is probably the last one – Spirals. Maybe it’s because the song has a sound that I can more easily relate to punk rock than the others. Maybe it’s the sense of building throughout the first verse before we hit a huge sounding chorus. Maybe it’s the whoa-ohs that come in shortly after – that’s pretty punk rock, right? Maybe it’s the use of an additional vocal (quite possibly Steve) that contrasts with Chloe’s softer tones. Either way, Spirals ends the EP in style.

O.W.W.W.P is out now and you can check it out on Bandcamp. You can also find Chloe Hawes on Facebook.

This review was written by Emma Prew.