Genre – Alternative / Indie
Hometown – Sheffield, UK
Label – Independent
Listening to this single has left me conflicted, in more ways than one. Most people would say it belongs to that corner of music, the kitchen sink drama-type song, made popular by people like Jake Bugg and Miles Kane (who Hughes is currently touring with). Sadly, I have heard more of this genre recently than anybody should have to go through, and have come to the conclusion that more often than not the kitchen sink drama sheen hides a song that is really just dull as dishwater. I had already fallen out of love with this genre when I first heard Hughes’ debut, and so, while not actively deciding to dislike the song, went into hearing it with pretty pessimistic preconceptions. However, pretty soon I found myself with a much more sunny outlook.
Yes, the song does have an almost ‘This Is England’- esque quality, and you could definitely imagine it being played in some hell-hole working men’s club in West Yorkshire (I can say that, I was born there). What really strikes me about the song though, is just how undeniably cinematic it is. The rolling drums, coupled with the almost Mariachi-like rock and roll guitar bring to mind thoughts of spurred heels driving lit cigarettes into the ground, of heroes in silhouette walking away with fire behind them (even if it is coming from a wheelie bin). It’s easy to see that Hughes has more in common with fellow Sheffield boy Richard Hawley than just geography, especially when the solo starts up. Hughes’ captivating voice elevates the song even more, out of the kitchen sink and into the bright lights of Hollywood.
One complaint I do have is that I wasn’t too keen on the false finish around the two and a half minute mark. It just felt unnecessary and almost like a school sports day, when you sprint the last lap, cross the finish line gasping for breath…and then realise there is still one more lap to go. Though this did tarnish the wow factor of the song slightly (only slightly!) for me, I would still say, as first efforts go it is really promising, and if not completely different to what I was stubbornly expecting, different enough to make me possibly maybe think about reconsidering the genre as a whole. Either way, even if my love for kitchen-sink songs can never be revived, I am really looking forward to hearing more from Mike Hughes in the future.