After a year of immense challenges and social upheaval, JAKL (also-known-as Hughie Gavin) delivers a heartfelt message of positivity and hopefulness in new single ‘Hear’. For many, our isolation has been emotional as well as physical and, here, JAKL is reaching out, connecting and reminding us that, “Somewhere in the darkness is the flickering of hope.” His melodic vocal is incredibly impassioned and engaging and the song becomes all the more meaningful when you know how and why it was written. A few short months ago, JAKL’s father was rushed to hospital with Covid-19 where, unable to breathe, he was supported by a ventilator. He slipped into a coma from which he couldn’t be roused. Doctors suggested playing him recordings of his own operatic recordings from the past in the hope that it would trigger a response. While piecing these recordings together JAKL wrote ‘Hear’ for his father and played it to him over and over. Against incredible odds, his father made a full recovery and, after being discharged, he was able to sing the melody of ‘Hear’, which had somehow touched him when he need it most. JAKL explains: “We’ve all been separated over the past year and at the heart of this song is the question of whether a really strong feeling or emotion can transcend that distance. I don’t know if this song helped my Dad wake up, but I do know it reached him when nothing else could and that in itself is worth everything.” Sonically, ‘Hear’ is straightforward, just guitar and JAKL’s voice; the effect is suitably direct and powerful. We’re swept along by the cracking emotion, the relatable lyrics and the superb tune.
After being amongst Glastonbury’s emerging talents a few years ago, Hughie Gavin has been busy with various musical projects, including performing around Europe with Air Traffic and providing the vocals for the song ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ for an international Audi advertising campaign. He also recorded a live album at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney and guested on the single ‘Self’ from Steven Wilson’s top 5 album ‘The Future Bites’. We can now look forward to JAKL’s debut full-length release soon. With this single, he demonstrates great songcraft and the album will be one to watch out for. Enjoy.