A couple months ago, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan put out their 3rd CD together-- Hawk. It's mostly Campbell's project-- she writes the tunes and plays a couple of instruments, while Lanegan just doubles her on lead vocals. Even the contact information in the liner notes refers you to Campbell's website. But my attachment to these collaborations come mostly via Lanegan-- certainly one of my favorite voices in all of rock.
I finally got my hands on this record yesterday, and I'm really impressed. Pretty sure it ranks as my favorite of theirs. For one thing, it's just more energetic than their first two records. While both good, those tended to focus on lulling ballads, whereas this one has more than a few bar room stomps. It also has 2 really good Townes Van Zandt covers-- Snake Song and No Place to Fall. (FYI, it's hard to find a Mark Lanegan interview where he doesn't gush all over Townes Van Zandt. His voice is much huskier than Townes' but there's an obvious influence there.)
If anything, a lot of Hawk reminds me of Bob Dylan. Some sounds like his late '60s stuff, particularly the New Morning album, and others sound like songs he's releasing today. Check out this track, which is the last one on the album.
After listening to this twice, it's already sounding like one of my favorites of this year. We'll see come December.
I haven't listened to this in at least a year, and I'm kind of kicking myself for it. It's been one my favorites for the 13 years(!) that it's been around, and now I've got to put it back in my rotation.
The whole record was co-written with Peter Buck, who is featured throughout on guitar. It also has perennial Buck collaborator Scott McCaughey on bass and keys and the stellar Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin on drums. (Those three were also in Tuatara together.)
Here's a track:
And wouldn't you know it? Even Pitchfork loves it!
I apparently recommended this record 2 years ago in the midst of praise for a then-new American Music Club album. And while that record holds up, if you only acquired one thing by Mark Eitzel, I'd strongly suggest West.