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Renowned For Sound

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EP Review: Harry Hookey – ‘Sometimes’

3 min read

It’s so refreshing when an artist who didn’t come from money, a talented family background and wasn’t on a TV show appears with a new take on old school sounds. Coming out of rural Victoria, Harry Hookey started playing music in various local pubs with his three brothers when he was 15. On finishing secondary school, he started a law degree at the University of Melbourne, but quit to go into the “Telstra Road to Discovery” – a national talent development program which he won in 2011. Since then he has also appeared on the Country Music Channel Oz Artist stage.

Harry Hookey Sometimes EPToday there’s so much mainstream pop, rock, and other “stuff” cluttering up the charts but the music that Harry Hookey creates and plays is something “outside of the box”.  I can’t find a single “label” that describes it well enough, but it’s bluesy, folksy, and little bit country; with a splash of old school rock.  You can hear the influences from artists like the great Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Australian icon Paul Kelly, a pedigree which is hard to find in any modern artist.

The first track from Hookey’s new EP titled Sometimes reminds me of a young Paul Kelly both in the sound and lyrics; the use of the piano is fantastic as it provides a bluesy tone to balance the heavily distorted guitar tones. At times the rest of the band seem to melt around Hookey’s vocals, so much so you wonder if he were to stop singing, would everything else stop?? In my mind, this is the stand-out song on the EP.

Misdiagnosed starts off with the softness of the piano and guitar for the first four bars of the song but then morphs into quite a throw back through the decades with the raw, unpolished vocals and guitar tones. The song has lots of promise but by the end it feels like something is missing.

Where I’ll Be Found has the most folk influence out of the four songs, with shades of Neil Young and Bob Dylan. It is however quite a basic song because even when new instruments are added the texture doesn’t feel any thicker or different which makes it boring for some listeners and it’s really four minutes of the same thing.

Harry Hookey has a long way to go to be an icon but every step moves him a little closer to his dream.  Every artist needs experience to grow into their sound and themselves and I hope Harry Hookey can come back with bigger and better things. Catch him at the CMC Rocks