Part of me thinks that Sandy Hawkins was always a band, and they just now decided to let the rest of the world know. It’s the only explanation for how three mustachioed neighbors from Echo Park could emerge out of the pandemic as such a fully-realized outfit. Complete with a confident sound that brings yacht rock into the present day and a visual aesthetic that is somehow equal parts Wes Anderson movie, college frat house, and ‘80s arcade, Sandy Hawkins feels both familiar and entirely new.
Bandmates Tiger, Tom, and Keenan released their debut single “Chauncey’s Dream” in July 2020. A soothing sax and synth-heavy instrumental named after Tiger's cat, the song proves the boys have a deeper serious side beyond their playful Beastie Boys meets yacht rock approach. The trio describe themselves as a “boy band” but sonically have far more in common with acts like HAIM and Mac Demarco than they do with One Direction. Their songs have been featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” and “young & free” playlists, and on Nic Harcourt’s “Fresh Squeeze of the Day” on 88.5 FM.
All three band members produce, mix, and sing on all of their tracks, and this camaraderie is evident in the dreamy harmonies of “Original Sins” and in the way that each member is given a turn in the spotlight on “Morning Light.” Their give-and-take relationship also shines through in what is probably their most accomplished work to date, the music video for “Cherry Chapstick.” Over the course of three and a half minutes, the band scooters down sun-bleached LA streets, Tom plays a guitar underwater, and Tiger gets his ear pierced for the first time by Keenan. Complete with two tongue-in-cheek rap verses and Tom’s heavenly Tame Impala-esque falsetto, “Cherry Chapstick” is the kind of song that makes waiting for the full EP to drop almost unbearable.
In the meantime, check out Sandy Hawkins’s Remixes EP, which hit the airwaves today. For their Greylist, Sandy Hawkins chose the Niles remix of “Cherry Chapstick” and 12 other songs perfect for a lazy July afternoon.
1. “The Brae,” Yumi Zouma
2. “U Never Know,” isle&fever
3. “Prepad,” Boban Petrovic
4. “Yahlubba(nnu),” Mndsgn
5. “Squash,” Robson Jorge, Lincoln Olivetti
6. “Cherry Chapstick - Niles Remix,” Sandy Hawkins, Niles
7. “Move,” Lynda Dawn
8. “SAMBA PATI,” Masayohi Takanaka
9. “Chupa Cabra - Fouk Remix,” Magic In Threes, Fouk
10. “Kata,” Kate NV
11. “Below The Valleys,” Louis Cole
12. “Valley in the Ocean,” Bruno Pernadas
13. “Fou - Poolside Remix,” L’Impératrice, Poolside
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