Ian Hawgood – Love Retained

‘Love Retained’ delivers a collection of unintended piano pieces, created as an honest gesture of hopefulness that remains open and unpolished. The album reaches the listener via the label Home Normal, and drifts somewhere between ambient, minimalism and modern classical that repeats and progresses in a way that doesn’t tire. Ian Hawgood has a way of creating deeply reflective music that avoids the expected and is suited for both attentive and background listening. The underlying tape hiss from the cassette-based recording process remains a constant; a slight characterful aspect of a simplified recording technique creating a feeling that would otherwise be lost without it. When writing on the subject of the release, Hawgood stated, “I have increasingly enjoyed looping on low levels at night, or when the mind wonders/wanders”. I found that while listening to ‘Love Retained’ from start to finish a number of times, my mind wanders in a way that is not only welcomed, but encouraged by the album. I strongly advise taking the time to read what has been written on the background and subject of the album, as such themes and dedications are both relevant and relatable when listening. The profits of the release will also be donated to Mind – a caring mental health charity based in the UK, offering support where it’s most needed.