Mayer Hawthorne - Man About Town / Part of One
Contemporary R&B / Neo-Soul
Mayer Hawthorne is a bit of an anomaly in the admittedly overcrowded white boy soul scene. Getting his start as a producer of slick soul and funk-inspired beats, he gradually began incorporating his own voice into his arrangements and hasn’t looked back. From the Motown-infused throwback sound of 2011’s How Do You Do to the sprawling yacht rock of 2013’s Where Does This Door Go, Hawthorne (Andrew Cohen) has carved out a niche for himself which has culminated in the slick neo-soul of this year’s Man About Town. Taking a step back from the epic scope of Where Does This Door Go (an amazing album, but at 16 tracks long it does require a bit of patience), Man About Town is a trim nine tracks long (plus a short intro), filled with smooth horns, sensual falsetto vocals, twinkling digital synths, and drum machine grooves. His lyrics are occasionally dorky and showcase his outsider hipster appeal (“I want a love like that // Strong like a heart attack” he repeats on album standout Love Like That). At the end of October he dropped a little EP Party Of One, containing three more tracks in the same soul-infused vein of Man About Town while incorporating even more disco and funk, especially in the horns. Awesome stuff.