You may well remember Oakland indie musician and all round creative type Hazel English from last year; she cropped up a number of times on Breaking More Waves, where amongst other things I (correctly) predicted that a lot of music writers would use the word dreamy when describing her sound, compared her to Jeremy Corbyn and revealed that Hazel English probably wasn’t even her real name.
Now Hazel is back with a video for Never Going Home, the song that first pricked my ears last April. However, I have some serious health and safety concerns about this video. For here we find Hazel, sitting on a rocky outcrop, (you’ll first see it just after the 30 second mark) apparently with a serious drop below her, with no safety harness on. Yes, I know what you’re all thinking ‘but she’s a musician and musicians are dangerous crazy sexy people who live life on the edge.’ Well if that’s true let me ask you this; when Kanye played Glastonbury last year why did he wear a full safety harness (that he then struggled to get off - showing his lack of personal protective equipment skills) when he went up in the air on a cherry picker when wind speeds were low? If Kanye, who let’s face it seems to be capable in his mind at least of doing anything, from designing to being president, doesn’t feel safe in a situation where there’s a slight chance of falling, then surely Hazel should be taking more precautions? Or, just like her name, is this all a big bluff and the ground is just a couple of feet below? Or maybe she’s rigged up some sort of safety net fixed to some scaffolding just out of shot?
Anyway, health and safety concerns aside, there’s an awful lot I love about Hazel. I love her preppy style, this retro / home shot styled video and I adore her dreamy (yes, there you go I’ve used the word) music; it’s music a long way from the majority of the stuff that floods my in box these days (identikit r ‘n’ b bangers and very average laptop produced electronic pop). It seems that I’m not the only one – having amassed a huge number of plays on Soundcloud she’s now been signed to Marathon Artists (Courtney Barnett, Jagwar Ma), and is getting ready to release her first 5 track EP in October. For this time round Never Going Home, which will feature on the EP has been given a fresh mix by Charlie Huggall (Florence and the Machine, Låpsley) and now I’m just hoping that we’ll see her over in the UK for some gigs at some point. Press play on Never Going Home and let go of your body and mind’s safety harness as you lose yourself in its chiming guitars.
Hazel English - Never Going Home (Video)