Album: Dan Haywood's New Hawks, DHNH (Timbreland)

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The Independent Culture

Dan Haywood is a PSOW (poet/singer/ornithologist/whatever) and this epic 32-song album arises from the labour of slogging around rural Scotland, checking out the birds and meditating on the strangeness of life.

And charmingly, it succeeds in being both engaging and oddly uplifting while also being as dour in texture as a North Sea shoreline. Guitar strings scrape, fiddles yawn, percussion clatters, Dan's small, hard voice skitters like a stone, barely tuned. "I feel so pregnant I could puke." Well, yes.