♫♪  Hattie Cooke - Hattie Cooke

The last quarter of the music release cycle tends to get dominated by reflection: taking stock of what came out, deciding what were the “best” and “biggest” releases, contextualizing what the heck happened/what changed/what stayed the same, what can be ranked and how, etc (see: this website). Already looking backward, there’s the impulse to stop looking around, no matter how much stuff — particularly good, small stuff — is still walking through the door.

Case in point: English singer/songwriter Hattie Cooke put out a great tape this fall (way back in October — whoops, sorry Hattie) that, as part of my own personal catching up on all I missed, I’ve been listening to a lot. You want a record that’s perfect for fall, or the transition of fall into winter, or really anytime when you can justify spending hours alone by a furnace or driving around through the dead leaves? Here it is, and then some.

I looked it up, and while Cooke’s hometown of Brighton is not geographically between Manchester and Bristol, the legacies of those cities hover large in her music, the twin poles of Sarah and vintage Factory Records bordering a tape that splits the difference between felt-patterned synths and tender, sitting-in-the-bay-window guitar songs. This feels like one of those tapes that, in a different decade, would have been dubbed and passed around at shows. These days you can just get it on Bandcamp, which is maybe less romantic — but when the songs are this wistful, funny, and personable, the difference gets made up. Cheers.

Stream album track “I Want To Go (Where Everyone Knows My Name)” below. Hattie Cooke is available through Third Kind Records.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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