Surviving another boring Wednesday is easier when you've got a little new music to get you over the hump. Mayer Hawthorne knows this. And he's releasing a free, six-song slew of cover songs, unfurling his eclectic sonic palette for all to hear. The new stable of tracks, titled "Impressions EP," will be released independently for Hawthorne via his Twitter account.
For those waiting for the artist to release his sophomore album "How Do You Do" this fall, the hump has been about two years and counting. Still, Hawthorne's raised his profile considerably with a slot on the Hooligans in Wondaland tour with Bruno Mars and Chicago's 2011 Lollapalooza festival. On the heels of a 10" single of his song "No Strings" released in April, this is the latest tidbit unveiled by the Stones Throw recording artist.
The download package also features short descriptions of how Hawthorne chose this eclectic set of gems to turn into cover jams. The track list has the Michigan-born soul crooner revamping tracks from such varied artists as ELO, Jon Brion and Chromeo. Typically pigeonholed as a saccharine Motown throwback, the man born Andrew Mayer Cohen made some unexpected choices on the EP that go a long way in affirming his role as a 21st century artist with a forward-leaning philosophy on old-school sounds. Hawthorne spoke with Pop & Hiss about Wednesday's free release.
Pop & Hiss: How much did your Detroit roots and your musical upbringing factor into the songs you chose for the EP?
Mayer Hawthorne: I was really fortunate growing up to have a broad musical education. My parents listened to all kinds of music, rock, soul, Motown, jazz, Frank Sinatra, everything. I think that definitely played a huge role [in the selection]. It plays a huge role in the music I make and it’s why my music sounds like it does. It’s soul music, but it incorporates so many other genres.