Singled Out: I See Hawks In L.A.'s How You Gonna Know?

Keavin Wiggins | 08-27-2021

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Country rockers I See Hawks In L.A. recently released their new album "On Our Way" and to celebrate we have asked Paul Lacques to tell us about the track "How You Gonna Know?". Here is the story:

We're a country rock band leaning heavily on folk and bluegrass for our sound and inspiration. While we do delve into the cosmic, our songs are usually concrete story telling. So this song is a big departure for us, sonically and for the stream of consciousness lyrics.

It started with an acoustic guitar rhythm and chant from lead singer Rob Waller, inspired by Tuareg band Tinawaren from Mali, who've blown our collective band mind several times at live shows here in L.A. They're indescribable. They're sprung from the earth they inhabit, which might be our common thread with them, if we dare comparisons. Our songs are rooted in our California and Tennessee/Mississippi ancestral roots, and we sing often of the Mojave desert or the backrooms of Memphis.

Pandemic supplied us with another departure point: isolation. Suddenly we couldn't play in same room. All songs would be studio creations, Frankenstein monsters or hopefully superheroes. We got an electronic drum track from L.A. studio ace Joe Berardi, whom Hawks guitarist Paul Lacques plays with in Double Naught Spy Car instrumental band. It's played for real, but triggered drums, clearly artificial, so we layered Hawks drummer Victoria Jacobs on acoustic drums.

Rob made his first dive into synth textures, including synth bass, a crime against nature in the country rock world, but it worked, especially with true bass from Hawks bassist Paul Marshall. Add multiple guitars/synths from Paul and his SpyCar cohorts Marcus Watkins and Marc Doten, turned backwards and tweaked, and there's the sound.

The lyrics? Doom and hope, love and fear, the unknown and our beliefs, images that leaked out under the pressure of the times and the madness of our no human contact worlds. Transhumance or techno annihilation?

H is for Hawk. I is for indigo. Meet me at the palms. The semaphore singing waters. The interlude has come and gone. The beneficial harvest song. Threshing floor and stones. We run the ridge of juniper and snow. Just to see our tomorrows. How you gonna know?

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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Singled Out: I See Hawks In L.A.'s How You Gonna Know?

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