“David Hawkins ran his own personal Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, and all you got is his great new album.” We wrote that two years ago while premiering the title track from Hawk’s Bomb Pop. The same can be said of Hawkins’ new LP, Fly, out May 15. Like its predecessor, Fly was made by a backing band consisting of multi-instrumentalist Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) and drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello). This time around, they were joined by keyboardist Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople, Queen, Yoko Ono).
But as on Bomb Pop, Hawkins is the real star of Fly. The Venice, Calif.-based musician, who’s also an abstract painter and co-founder of the Black Mountain Arts Collective, wrote all the songs before bringing in his famous friends (as well as regular collaborator Aaron Bakker) to help flesh them out from around the globe: Joshua Tree, Seattle, Tokyo, France. For an album recorded largely separately, Fly sounds like the product of a well-oiled band bashing it out in the same room. This is most certainly the case on anthemic, album-opening first single “This Is It.” Though the song was birthed in a car in the Land Of David Lynch.
“I literally wrote the chord changes and chorus riding in the passenger seat on Mulholland Drive on a guitar that I had just bought from a real-life goddess in Topanga Canyon,” says Hawkins of the song. “I had just moved to L.A. and we would do these these epic drives, and the melody just popped into my head. It’s a celebration of being in the moment: This is it. The song reflected the day. It’s all sunshine and California-spangled, blue-sky dreams, and falling in love on a trip to the 7-Eleven for a cherry Slurpee. All sugary-sweet, punk-pop, brain-freeze confection. It’s the epic sun-blind, top-down vision quest and asking a bikini girl where the beach is, and her cosmic psychedelic reply: “Like, everywhere.” The brightly colored wave of post-peak America with decadence creeping in around the edges. And listening mid-plague, you may catch a darker layer underneath the sunshine daydream—a vague but prescient reflection of the black angel in the window: ‘I know you came down from heaven/You spread your wings, and I was through/This is it.”
We’re proud to premiere “This Is It” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check out this black angel’s life song right here, right now.