Jimmy Hawk and The Endless Party
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Jimmy Hawk and The Endless Party

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Folk





Let’s hope this party never ends

Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party’s self-titled debut album is as impressive as the group’s name. Their particular blend of folk and rock shares similarities with Bob Dylan and Neil Young’s output, though band impresario Jimmy Hawk’s voice is his own and a modern sensibility prevents this release from sounding like yet another exercise in retro-revivalism. Fans of Hawk’s solo-efforts will be pleased that his lyricism has been retained on this band-backed full-length with utterances such as, “in my dreams you were a cocaine fury,” crackling with evocative life. As to the tracks themselves, Hollywood Travelling Blues rollicks with gleeful abandon, ably assisted in this instance by a sweet vocal hook. Elsewhere, on African Love Song the group comes closest to conventional indie fare – picture Foals performing a cover of the Last Dinosaurs’ Honolulu. It’s on their third track Satellite however that Hawk and his Party reach their apotheosis, with a tight, rhythmic undercurrent anchoring Hawk’s plaintive implorations as guitar, organ and strings play nicely for the affection of the listener. Consider mine won.
PATRICK TURNER - Rave Magazine


Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party prove that confession is good for the soul on new album Liberty Sunset Blue, writes Nic Toupee.
Five o’clock, Sunday afternoon. If you’re not paid to do something productive – say cheffing or working behind the bar in a pub – then it’s totally sacred relaxation time. A nice warming brandy, an open fire, a fine book or even replays of Euro 2012 if you’re that way inclined: Sunday evenings are sacrosanct. Unless, of course, you’re Jimmy Hawk. Hawk, singer/songwriter with Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party, certainly isn’t partying today.

“I’ve been working this afternoon; I’m a workaholic! Not that being a musician is really work but…“ he trails off in his husky drawl. Surprising, really: the music Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party make – their first eponymous release and now the quick follow-up, Liberty Sunset Blue – sound undisputably mellow.

“That’s the trick wth rock’n’roll,” Hawk smirks knowingly, “you gotta make it sound like you’re not trying.”

The crib notes which journalists receive before an interview, on this occasion, describe Liberty Sunset Blue as having more of a soul influence, compared to the band’s previous work. Now one doesn’t call oneself an expert on the finer points of the genre, but try as I might, I have failed miserably to find the ‘soul’ element within the album.

“Well, it’s obviously not literal,” Hawk advises, to my relief. “There are lots of different elements aside from soul on the album: folk rock and pop. Obviously in the past we’ve had a slightly Americana-influenced sound, whereas we do think this album is slightly more soul-influenced. Conceptually though it is more soulful; for me ‘soul’ is more of an emotional place,” he concludes, again sounding vague, although his explanation actually makes sense.

Hawk’s conceptual shift makes its way into the album in subtle ways. And, like a Where’s Wally? picture, once you know what to look for, it’s impossible not to see it. “With the first record I made, Echo Park [which Hawk released under his own name, before hitching his wagon to the Endless Party], a lot of it was folk rock. And with folk rock music you tend to tell more stories. With this record, it was more confessional on a lyrical and communication level, talking from a first-person perspective. If you listen to Motown – Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke – their songs are like a one-to-one dialogue, rather than a song about a grand journey like folk-rock songs.”

While the style might be confessional, don’t get too excited – this is not the moment when you see Hawk’s emotional underthings exposed for your examination. “They’re not about me, no,” he concedes of the songs. “[They] are about art, about… at the end of the day it depends what interpretation you want to put on it. I see making music, or any art form, as a two-way street: at some point it ends up in a performance or on record and that’s when the magic happens, an alchemy that creates something else for somebody else. It doesn’t really matter what I think about the songs,” he offers.

Hawk is fond of this idea of sonic ‘alchemy’, and the melding of personalities in a mysterious manner to concoct pure musical gold. He describes the songwriting process within his band as similarly alchemic. “With this band, we’re lucky because there’s a chemistry between us all, very organic,” he says. “A lot of the time songwriting will come from an impulse. The process is very… fluid.”

A workaholic he may be, but a control freak Hawk is not. “I think you have to be relaxed about writing songs [with a band] or you go crazy. I know there are a lot of people who like to have more control. but I think you have to lose control to make things beautiful.”

Nic Toupee

Inpress (Jun 27, 2012) - Inpress Magazine


If Jimmy Hawk's debut album Echo Park was the "breakup album," then his sophomore with new band The Endless Party is the "make-out album," as the Melbourne singer/songwriter jokingly puts it. Inspired by a period of a lot of partying and healing of old wounds, the self-titled follow-up is a step in quite a different direction from the lo-fi folk of his debut.

"It's a very percussive record, there's lots of big drums, it's quite Moroccan-inspired musically," Hawk says. "Instrumentation-wise, we've definitely gone for something much more experimental, it's still organic, but there were a whole lot more ideas to run with. I suppose it's what happens when you're not working on your own and you actually have a band who contribute their own ideas. You're going to get two completely different results working solo and working with a bunch of people, aren't you? Most of these songs were written with the band and born out of rehearsing a lot and playing gigs, it's been a wild and interesting outcome. This album is very much inspired by world music, it sounds like world music. My first album was a solo record, it was just as Jimmy Hawk, so that's why it was so low-key. The songs were also ballads and very raw and the entire thing had been done pretty much live and recorded on the day. The guys who were on the record were just there to interpret the songs and help me finish the album. You'd never hear that kind of record again because it's something that could never be repeated - it was extremely impromptu!" It's also the kind of record perhaps best experienced with the lights dimmed and a loved one by your side, suggests Hawk cheekily. Describing his debut album as a collection of songs born out of turmoil and emotional drainage, this time around Hawk says fans are in for quite a contrast in both content and vibe. "I see the first record as a break up record and this one as more of a make-out record," he laughs. "When you put this record on, you feel like you want to get romantic, rather than feel upset and depressed. You just want to dim the lights and… well you know! I guess it's just a natural thing that happens after you go through a long period of turmoil - after a while you just feel drained and over it and you want to move on. There's only so much you can handle before you kind of snap and just think enough is enough, I'm sick of wallowing in this and reliving it every day. There was a lot of partying going on when these new songs were written, it's the ultimate way to celebrate by expressing yourself romantically. The vibe of the album is very primal. The last record was a bit of a healing process too, though, but you know, once you finally heal you want to party and get back out there and just have a good time, right?" And that's what Hawk plans to do in the coming months following the launch of the new album - claiming he is taking The Endless Party to Los Angeles, California with him. As long as they "stay away from the crack," all should be fine, he jokes. As for Hawk himself, the singer claims he's very much looking forward to making a return to the place that inspired his debut 'Echo Park'. "With the first record, a lot of the songs were written in LA - actually, about 80 percent of it was written over there but then recorded in Melbourne," Hawk explains. "In terms of spending time in LA, it's very heavily influenced by the west coast revival thing, the whole Neil Young revival stuff and all the great musicians that came from LA. You just naturally can't help but be influenced by that yourself, no matter how hard you might try to resists it - it's just everywhere. For me, I wanted to go there to get a bit of a different reality perspective. I was so sick of being in the same circles and doing the same routine. I know some people pack up and go to Sydney or Melbourne, but I just needed a much bigger culture shock than that! I just needed to get back to basics and try living out of a suitcase with nothing else but a sim - Beat Magazine

"MEET AT THE PARTY - single review"

I keep hitting repeat on this new tune. It's got something old school about it all ... A little 50s Elvis like in the Guitars, a little 60s New Orleans in the rhythm. It's cool stuff that generates a bit of heat each time I hear it. Richard Kingsmill, Triple J music director. - Triple J Radio Station


Who's Jimmy Hawk? I'd not a clue before this CD floated onto my desk in all its sleepy eyed, sunshiny countrified pop sweetness. Turns out he is James Ratsasane of former Melbourne band The Rumours. After the band's demise, he spent time living in LA's Echo Park district, where much of this album, and warm-up EP, was composed, spiced with a good dose of Californian sunshine. There's clearly much love here for artists such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, Elliot Smith and Big Star, but Hawk doesn't just have the sounds; he's got the songs.



When Melbourne singer-songwriter James Ratsasane split from his long-time band, he had to make the hard decision of whether to go it alone or throw in the towel. Packing up his Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Johnny Burnette records, he rented a room in California's artsy Echo Park community and knocked together and album of country-folk and soft rock tunes under the stage name, Jimmy Hawk. The result is a heavily Americana-tinged record, though with plenty of George Harrison in the mix as well, both Beatles era and later.
Recorded on two-inch tape, Echo Park walks among the giants of this well-worn genre with a casual ease, and the songs are warm and vibrant without overdoing it. Ratsasane drives a swinging backing band with a stream of hooks and sweet melodies with success on the rollicking Bullet To The Brain, or the lovelorn Born On A Mountain. The '70s soft rock genre can be pretty weak stuff, full of flimsy charm and cheesy lyrics, but Echo Park captures all of its strengths with simple, soulful, country-tinged tunes.

DAVID BUTLER - The Canberra Times


Melbourne boy Jimmy Hawk is awash in the sea and sun of southern Californian Folk. This beautiful EP, a prelude to his 2010 debut album features four dreamy, cruising tracks, designed to cast nostalgic shadows over you life, reminding you of all the blissful romances you never really had. - Beat Magazine


It’s funny how specific locations can rub off on music. Melbourne singer-songwriter James Ratsasane decided to relocate to LA’s hip Echo Park for a few months after the breakup of his band and came home with a collection of breezy Californian folk-pop songs that will apparently make up part of an upcoming debut album.
The delicate multi-tracked style of vocals made famous by deceased Echo Park resident Elliott Smith also seep their way onto the EP on the balmy, cricket-chirpy Born On A Mountain. Swirling with organs and nasal-harmonies, this track is even reminiscent of heady Lennon solo tracks like Jealous Guy. Sunset Vines is more traditional with its straightforward folk waltz and meandering, dreamy lyrics.
With a thousand folky singer-songwriters strumming away across the country you wonder how anyone can possibly bring something new and exciting to the style.
With the help of audiophile Japanese producer Nao Anzai, whose shimmery melotron and melodica adds fantasy and intrigue, Ratsasane has delivered a truly unique and gorgeous sounding EP.
Definitely one to watch in 2010.

DAVID CRADDOCK - X-Press Magazine


2009 Born On A Mountain EP
2010 Echo Park LP
2011 Meet Me at The Party 7" single
2011 Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party LP
2012 Liberty Sunset Blue LP



At once familiar and mysterious, Jimmy Hawk and The Endless Party is the sound of road trips, sunsets and romance. With a penchant for luscious, transcendental melody and expressive lyricism; Hawk’s musical dreamscapes have endeared him to a steadily growing fan base and has seen him performed along side favourites such as Cold War Kids, The Temper Trap, and The Shins.

The new album 'Liberty Sunset Blue' will be Hawk's third album in three consecutive years and his second with The Endless Party. Masterfully performed and recorded, 'Liberty Sunset Blue' marks their first foray into blue eyed soul and bookends a prolific run of releases – from 2010 critically acclaimed debut album, 'Echo Park', to last year's self-titled sophomore album 'Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party'.

Recorded last November in Los Angeles by Dan Horne (Ben Kweller, Beachwood Sparks) and mastered by Peter Mew (David Bowie, Syd Barret, Donovan) at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, 'Liberty Sunset Blue' is arguably set to be their biggest release yet.