Mikey Collins - Hoick
Mikey Collins, who combines his love of solid grooves and joyous harmonies to create a fun and sonically varied record. Mikey played most of the instruments and mixed the record himself, with some assistance from Laura Kovic (Tigercats) on vocals and fellow Allo Darlin' member Paul Rains on lead guitar. The flicker of his previous band provided the building blocks of an upbeat, positive record, but Mikey wanted to add his own quirky, disco spin & sonic expansiveness. The aim to make a record that people stood a chance of being able to dance to. Mikey draws on influences as far flung as Dexy's, Bruce Springsteen, Night Works, Matthew E White & Father John Misty. Mikey began working on the album while he was in Allo Darlin’. The last few years were a conveyor belt of change as he; got married, had a child, bought a house, moved from London to be by the Kent coast and opened a residential studio Big Jelly Studios (Girl Ray, Metronomy, Pete Doherty, Mt Wolf, Seamus Fogarty & ELVA). In short, he grew up. The record journeys through these changes but has its roots firmly grounded in his new seaside habitat. His identity with and connection to the area is even incorporated into the album artwork – a startling photograph by local photographer Jason Evans (Radiohead / Keiran Hebden/Fourtet), incorporating flora and fauna of the region, an outer ring of pop glow that hints at the neon din of the seaside. Moving to the coast had a more profound effect on Mikey than he imagined, as he explains; “Mostly it’s about a seismic shift in life. I probably delayed growing up in a lot of ways, touring can kind of help that - it’s a fantasy world in some ways! I hadn't really stopped to appreciate what I had until I got a little bit of time and space to think." Unsurprisingly there are a lot of references to the sea, falling in love and friendship on the album. This is evident in songs such as as “Falling”, which is about proposing to his wife – something he swore blind he'd never do! - to “Pinata”, a song about handing over your heart, wrapping it in a piñata and giving someone the bat (in a humorous way). "Side by Side" is a reflection on having spent a lot of time with a group of people and that. "West Coast" is another uptempo disco-vibe, reflecting on time spent with long term tour buddies The Wave Pictures in California. In "Home Bird", Mikey tried to pay homage to to the grooves of older RnB tunes with a simple arrangement, Rolling Stones-esque riffs and thoughts about the dichotomy of missing home, but loving being on the road. The fingerpicked, delicately arranged acoustic song, "Moving On", was recorded in one take in the upstairs flat of a cafe/bar (called Caboose) that Mike opened with his wife when they first moved to Ramsgate. The album title “Hoick” is a word that he used without thinking when lifting and throwing his daughter in the air. He only noticed it when she started saying it back to him - “I like the way it sounded... Although the making of the record was a solo endeavour, live he is joined by a crack-team of musicians. Whilst he plays guitar and sings, in addition to the afore mentioned Laura Kovic, and lifelong friend, guitar maestro Paul Rains, he is joined by drummer Ian Button (Death In Vegas, Papernut Cambridge) and Tom Parkinson on bass. Collins deftly blends a solid rhythm section with disco beats and old school R&B grooves, layering the bass lines, guitars, synths and harmonies to build up each track sonically. The result is a shimmering and glittering record that bursts with joy and wonder.