We recently shared Mayer Hawthorne’s “Her Favorite Song,” the first video released in anticipation of his new album, Where Does This Door Go. Well, now we’re less than a week out, and you can take an early listen to the full LP on NPR.
Hawthorne has always flown under the radar just enough. He’s made a significant imprint on the music scene with his first two albums, but he’s yet to penetrate the mainstream for significant radio play (and some might say that is for the better).
His Michigan roots are well traversed, and his picking up the Motown baton has no doubt been documented, but Hawthorne has eloquently tipped his hat to the likes of Marvin Gaye’s career without quite the sledgehammer wink Robin Thicke gave to Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” with his own “Blurred Lines” this summer (that track — a bliss-filled, party anthem featuring TI and Pharrell Williams — was a noted departure for the R&B crooner and rocketed him to the top of charts).
Leading up to his July 16th album release, Hawthorne has several musical maestros of summer’s biggest tunes in tow; to get his piece of the pie, Hawthorne has enlisted Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams on his album. With “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Pharrell’s fingerprint is emblazoned on Summer 2013. In fact, the man is so ubiquitous my Bubbe called — the two of them are now doing a collabo as well.
For all intents and purposes, Hawthorne doesn’t stray too far from his cemented musical persona. Lamar’s track “Crime,” though, is a more devious sampling than what Hawthorne might otherwise offer. Although still ever the gentleman — “We just wanna party / we don’t mean no harm / don’t wanna hurt nobody” — the understated, velvety touch he offers here might very well have “Crime” primed to be the relaxing-by-the-pool slow jam of summer that moves Hawthorne into a new category of artists. It will be interesting to see what the cache of Williams and Lamar will bring.
Those fortunate enough to be following Hawthorne on Facebook may have had the chance to take part in his Where Does this Door Go listening event at Los Globos in Silver Lake last night. If so, let me know what you thought of the event in the comments.
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