Listen to Heyward Howkins’ excellent sophomore album Be Frank, Furness
Talk about a great Saturday afternoon surprise. Philly songwriter Heyward Howkins, who has been dropping iPhone demos and informal peeks at his new batch of songs for the better part of this year, unveiled his sophomore album Be Frank, Furness today. And it’s fantastic. Streaming on Soundcloud as of a few hours ago, the record takes Heyward’s distinctive style – snappy melodies mixing with clever wordplay and regional references (“Lorraine, you look divine” being a favorite) – and furthers it with lush arrangements and feisty tempos that rock out way harder than you’d expect the erstwhile mellow singer-songwriter to rock. Credit that in part to producers Quentin Stoltzfus of Light Heat and Ben Reisman of Le Fits, and also to Howkins for refusing to be constrained by popular expectations for singer-songwriters. Bop along to the opening “Nogales,” compare the snappy “Praline County” to its more downtempo demo from November, and just crack the windows and breathe in the entire album.