Pre Order Released 24/09/21
During a lost year that’s been anything but normal, it’s no surprise that Mark Hawkins has dug deeper, gathering his influences and ideals into a more experimental, yet relevant and cohesive whole. A New Normal represents a blossoming of Mark’s creativity; freed from the constraints of immediate dance-floor delivery they explore new territory, rampaging over a landscape of electro-funk, body-rocking house, experimental electronica, euphoric pop and reflective chill out all underpinned by his accomplished melodic sensibility.
Opening track ‘Can’t Let You Do This’ sets the tone perfectly, so stridently optimistic it will surely become a staple of 2021’s (hopefully) unstoppable deluge of summer parties, whether they’re held in fields to an audience of thousands or in the kitchen of a one-bedroom flat. 100 Percent’s dreamy, delayed vocals and classic House riffs are simply joyous, whilst the disco flavoured ‘No One Can Find Us’ demonstrates a twisted sound design that wickedly plays with perception and emotions. Lazy Sunday’s cheeky organ stabs and ‘You Bring The Sunshine’’s woozy melodies both revel in sun-drenched possibilities of a summer spent forgetting the past year’s hardships.
But there are other moments that perhaps point us towards a different future for Mark’s music. Shape The Way You Compromise marries Soca rhythms with merciless bass tones and staccato acid bleeps, chewing up echos of West London broken-beat via stuttering IDM styled edits perfectly sums up an album that challenges what ‘normal’ from now on should be.