With the foundation of his musical life crumbling, Dayve Hawk was struggling to maintain a relationship with his project Memory Tapes. But through the difficulties, Hawk managed to keep this vital outlet going. Fallout / House On Fire, the new two-song digital single from Memory Tapes, exhibits Hawk’s still strong songwriting talents and an alternative way of working. After the artist’s last LP, Grace/Confusion, he saw several professional and personal relationships end, all in the space of a few months.[...]
At this point, most of the structure built around the band since the first record,Seek Magic, had disintegrated. The title of “Fallout” seems to suggest Memory Tapes’ situation around this time. The song itself sounds like an early meeting between post-punk and synth-pop, before anyone could polish out the feeling. The somewhat downcast mood of the music is reflected in the vocals, with Hawk singing, “all I want/ to be there, too.”
The tracks are completely live/hardware based, with no computer manipulation on the vocals. Considering the raw capture of these songs, they feel a little more like intimate demos than part of a traditional single. “I feel like it’s important to just do something and get it out,” Hawk says. “I’m trying to transition out of my hyper-introverted life.”
I met Dayve once after a small gig he played in Toronto some years ago. After the concert, he awkwardly scrawled his name (using a ballpoint pen) cock-eyed across my Seek Magic LP, and got away from fans as fast as possible. I felt badly for him that he couldn't enjoy the adoration from people who've enjoyed his work so much over the years. His performance live was fantastic, but you could certainly see it was a struggle for him to reconcile being a musician in public with the introverted nature of his life.
It's that intersection of introspection and the past that grants his music such a unique sound. Like his earlier side projects, Memory Tapes continues to trigger an emotional resonance for me with music keyed to specific times in my early childhood. In the case of "Fallout", it's the curious feeling I had on evenings spent alone in the early 90's, with half-heard music playing on a car radio outside. It also captures the odd wonder I felt while watching a taped copy of "E.T" in an empty house; the flicker of VHS scan lines on my family's old UHF-band television with a soft summer night breeze blowing though a window. Distant smells of a barbecue, and the sound of crickets outside: These are simple, but potent memories of a time that no longer exists - but I can relive them in a way though music.
I hadn't thought about these experiences for years, but Dayve Hawk's music brings them to the forefront of my memory. For that, I'm eternally grateful and hope he continues to make music in any form for years to come.
Update: Dayve released what sounds like a demo version of "Fallout" along with a few other new/unleased tracks in April:
I've done a quick cut/edit of the 1st track: