Discovery: The Hale & Hearty by Heyward Howkins

As I’m reading through submissions to the blog from musicians/labels, etc., I oftentimes run across spam, bands that were not tailored for the site, or just plain trash. Then every once in a while…I’ll find a gem. I’m proud to say that The Hale & Hearty is one of those grabbing albums. The creator behind this indie-folk canvas is Heyward Howkins, former lead guitarist for The Trouble With Sweeney and founding member of The Silver Ages (along with members of The War On Drugs and Buried Beds among others). 

With a sound that mixes the newfound sound of acoustic artists of late such as Tallest Man on Earth, M. Ward, and Damien Jurado, Howkins’ tunes remain reminiscient of an old soul trying to set the pace of honest lyrics in a broad, apocalyptic landscape that is modern pop. The collection of choral voices, guitar-laden & synth-phonic effects, and pounding rhythms are all topped off with Heyward’s brooding tenor of a voice that seems to harness the full potential of a Win Butler-esque groove. At times seeming mournful, the album never seems unbalanced, releasing it’s bear at the nick of time – sounding triumphant in it’s return to a foot-stomping dance. 

While sounding resonant of sharp influences in the indie scene such as Justin Vernon & Bon Iver, both Howkins and The Hale & Hearty have managed to remain a unique portrait of a singer/songwriter turned band-leader. For all fans of indie-folk/rock, I would strongly suggest keeping up-to-date with developments in this artist’s future endeavors. 

“Go on, have another bump ’til it feels alright,” Heyward sings. “Look at your crowd / They are so hale and hearty.”

 You Spotify users can stream the album below!

The Hale & Hearty  is out June 26th, 2012.

You can download the album at

Chet Delcampo (mellotron, keys, guitar, drums, bass) 
Charlie Hall (bass, vox organ, vocal coach) 
Severin Tucker (guitars) 
Richard Stuverud (drums, percussion) 
BC Camplight (piano) 
Erica J. Penella (flute, vocals, vibes, glock, referee) 
Ben Riesman (violin, viola) 
Nitzan Haroz (tenor trombone) 
Mike Brenner (lap steel) 
Gretchen Lohse (Strings) 
Shannon McArdle (vocals) 
Birdie Busch (vocals) 
Heyward (guitars, vocals, uke, banjo, harmonium, keys)


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