Album Review | HAVVK Provoke & Delight With Cause & Effect
Cause & Effect, the debut album from HAVVK, is set for release later this month on November 22. The 11-track album opens with ‘If I Don’t Tell You’. It’s an excellent introduction, stating the band’s intent and showing the listener who they are in terms of sound, story, and personality.
Next up, ‘Birds on a Wire’ discusses a destructive relationship. Lead singer Julie’s vocals are expansive, with a raw and honest vibe over melancholic sounds. She sings:
“When I’m trying to speak, are you listening? Do you want to hear me scream?”
‘Always the Same’ discusses toxic masculinity and female objectivity. Throughout the track, Julie explores the story in depth, challenging men who make women feel unsafe due to their gender. Following this is ‘The Factory’, where Julie’s soaring vocals ascend through the noise.
‘Tunnels’ has a shoegazing, post-punk production that progresses the album while unveiling a new layer. Continuing proceedings, ‘Shifting Shape’ is edgy, with a loud dynamic that gets straight to the point, dismissing traditional assumptions around gender and confronting societal pressures. ‘Hush’ pushes the album forward, it’s a great addition with fascinating instrumentation and wonderful storytelling.
‘52’ is a mesmerising track and a captivating listen about political dynamics. The vocals here are raw, soaring, gritty, and emotive, making it a stand-out track on Cause & Effect. The musicality is glistening behind the topical issues. “We’ve got to get over it,” is the plea above a poignant soundscape.
After that, HAVVK continue to build affecting soundscapes on upcoming single release ‘Operate’. There’s an examination of productivity on this track, and the implications of never stopping to check in with oneself. Because many can relate to the commitments and the pressures of life, HAVVK offer a wonderful insight to this feeling that might just capture the attention of somebody who needs it.
‘Reach’ has beautiful instrumentation and flavourful, echoing vocals. Closing the record with ‘Ask Me How’ is inspired too. This song sums up the album’s narrative but keeps the door open for the band to expand on future releases.
It’s a majestic release from HAVVK—a dreamy offering covering dynamic political topics, with wonderful instrumentation and hooks. In addition to the subject matter, the sound of Cause & Effect is unique, combining elements of grunge, indie-rock, and shoegaze. An incredible, haunting euphoria is a compelling constant throughout the album as well. Each track adds depth, with brilliant production and a relentlessly diverse indie-pop/punk-rock mix.
At the centre of things, lead singer Julie Hawk’s vocals are passionately distinctive. Her voice is a force of nature, rising through waves of music to crash beautifully with each rhythm. The issues HAVVK cover lyrically are mirrored in the instrumentation, resulting in a stunning, well-crafted listen.
The songwriting tackles multiple social and political issues, with seamless, cohesive transitions from one topic to the next. Everything from equality and gender, to mental health and the power of music, feature throughout this compelling narrative. In conclusion, it’s a wonderful expression of HAVVK’s vision and a thought-provoking experience for the listener.
HAVVK’s journey with Cause & Effect is rebellious and emotional—they’re certainly not afraid of anything. Each track is a necessary piece of the puzzle, with vivid, engaging imagery. Above all else, these are stories capable of starting conversations.
If you’re a fan of Slowdive, Daughter, Cocteau Twins, and the likes, then Cause & Effect is definitely worth a listen.