YOUNG RUNAWAY - HATTIE BRIGGS
LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH - AUGUST 2016
Release Date: 8th July, 2016
Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Pop, Acoustic, Folk
Band: Hattie Briggs, Jack Cookson, Asha McCarthy, Henry Fraser, Barney Morse-Brown, Dan Cassidy, Stuart Lawson, Pete Rosser, Matt Park.
Location: Stroud, Gloucestershire
Record Label: Wide Dog Records (Independent)
After Hattie's excellent and award-winning debut album 'Red and Gold', her second album was always going to be highly anticipated. Young Runaway doesn't disappoint and shows an increasing maturity in Hattie's skills both in her songwriting, arrangements, vocals and musicianship. Hattie wrote all of the eleven tracks with contributions coming from Jack Cookson on 'Have We Met Before'? and Asha McCarthy on 'The Lake' & 'The River.' The production is excellent on the album and Hattie very wisely chose Peter Waterman to take the helm. The album was recorded in the Monnow Valley and Yellow Shark studios. The eleven tracks have drawn inspirations from the worlds of pop, country and folk. There is a mixture of low-fi and upbeat songs, as well as a rich and reflective ballads. It is a mature, crafted and personal album with one of its themes the idea of taking risks and chances & making decisions based on what makes you happy. It reflects on Hattie's current life experience and her positive view of the world and future life. We think that Hattie is a very talented and classy singer-songwriter with a very bright future ahead of her.
We had an early taster of the album as Hattie released her 'Here's To Hoping' EP at our LCM gig at SPOC back in March.
The album opens with the ethereal and reflective 'The Lake'. Lovely finger-picked ukelele and soaring vocals and harmonies over a sublime string section and brooding cello. The song was written about Hattie's trip to Lake Garda in Italy. It carries a sense of awe about the lake and the landscape, which was constantly changing and different each day. A liberation of being around water.
'Lift Me Up' is a uplifting travelling song about missing home, overcoming challenges and making the best of situations. The song was inspired by an old suitcase that Hattie's bought in Stroud for her CD's and started as a piano riff. 'I bought an old suitcase. I filled it with things. I layed it all out, well there was too much to bring. A life on the table.......' We love the subtle pedal steel and strings which gives a beautiful and classy quality to the song.
First released as the title track on her last EP, 'Here's To Hoping' is a reflective track looking back at Hattie amazing childhood, leaving home and the uncertainty of the future. But it has an optimistic feel, looking forward to a bright future. 'I'll find what I looking for. Make memories. Make someone happy, as someone makes me. Keep up the struggle, until I have won. Until that day comes, here's to hoping'.
Another upbeat and reflective song 'On Your Way' carries the idea of living spontaneously. Taking risks and opportunities as they come along and hoping for the best. This is a great positive and radio-friendly summer song.
A light-hearted song with a Paul Simon vibe and a positive message is 'Digging to Australia'. With hard work and determination you can reach your goals. Hattie would love to tour Australia and these hopes and dreams are discussed in the song . 'Bondi Beach, I'm coming to get ya!'
Another song written by Hattie in Italy 'Summertime Man' has a great country almost a retro feel with it's harmonies. It's based on people like Hattie's brother who thrive in the summer, with high energy and a sense of life.
'Have We Met Before? is a duet and co-write with Jack Cookson. The song is about people that have helped Hattie in her career so far and an almost fateful feeling that it was meant to have happened that way. It's a simple stripped song with guitar, harmonica and vocals.
Probably our favourite tracks on the album is the very classy piano led 'Castle On The Sand', a song about heartbreak and the cycle of relationships. It's a perfect showcase for Hattie's pure vocal, arrangements and songwriting, complemented by cello and subtle pedal steel. Simply beautiful.
The more lo-fi electronic 'Talk To Me' shows it's ok to show weakness. To allow people into your life to share you problems. It demonstrates Hattie's versatility, as she could quite easily 'top-line' EDM tracks.
'You Only Live Once' is another positive song about living live to the full with no regrets. Doing whatever you want to do to make you happy.
To complete this excellent album 'The River' is a co-write with Asha McCarthy and Peter Waterman. A sister song to 'The River' it's about the journey of adolescence, the power of being swept along with the tide with powerful emotions and outside pressures. The strong cello line, almost overpowering at times, carries the feel of the force of the river.